The Ottawa Senators sent the Eastern Conference finals series into a frenzy with a five-goal outburst against reigning NHL Stanley Cup champions the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Ottawa posted a comprehensive 5-1 game-three win on Wednesday to take a 2-1 series lead against the Penguins.
The Sens were quick to disprove critics of the dull, bend-but-do not break trap system they have deployed to slow the Penguins with a goal 48 seconds into the game and three more in a span of 2:18 later in the first period after Mike Hoffman got the party started.
Hoffman was in the right place, right time when a friendly puck caught the end boards and the Senators winger exploited an opening between Marc-Andre Fleury and the near post.
Then, with 10:34 gone in the period, Marc Methot's second goal of the playoffs set off the quickest three-goal run in Senators playoff history. By the time Zack Smith's bank-shot wraparound goal made it 4-0 Ottawa with 7:08 to play, Pittsburgh pulled Fleury – who allowed the trio of goal on three successive shots – in favour of Matt Murray for his first appearance since April 4.
Sidney Crosby was in danger of going three games without scoring a point for the first time all season until his power-play goal at 13:53 of the third period got the Pens on the board. The captain's effort to spark a late rally was for naught, however, and the Pens are left licking some serious wounds.
Marc Methot, Senators - Methot, who did not have a goal all season, now has two in the playoffs and added an assist on Wednesday, officially enacting revenge on Crosby for maiming his pinky finger earlier this season. Methot also was a plus-four for the game.
Bobby Ryan, Senators - With a pair of assists, Ryan has 13 points through 15 games in these playoffs. It took him 28 games during the regular season to reach 13 points.
Craig Anderson, Senators - Anderson has stopped 78 of 81 shots in the Eastern Conference finals after a 25-save showing in game three. This against the NHL's highest-scoring offense from the regular season. He has been remarkable.
Kyle Turris gets fulls marks for staying with the puck to score the Senators' fifth goal of the game.
Thursday's game to watch
Western Conference finals: Ducks at Predators - Nashville turned this series up a notch in a dominant game-three win, even if the 2-1 score did not indicate it. Anaheim are on their heels, and it will not be an easy task to climb out of a 3-1 series hole if it comes down to that.
|Santos keeps New Zealand guessing on Ronaldo|
|PSG´s project is not lost – Marquinhos urges Verratti to stay amid Barcelona interest|
|Don´t compare me to Mourinho, says New Zealand boss Hudson|
|Leeds complete signing of Poland midfielder Mateusz Klich|
|Hudson claims New Zealand are not scared of Ronaldo and Portugal|
|Luke injured in Warriors win, Hayne torments Tigers|
|Sevilla refute Juve interest in N´Zonzi|
|River Plate duo Mayada and Martinez Quarta fail drugs test|
|Cristiano Ronaldo mocks Real Madrid team-mate James Rodriguez´s ´ugly´ new haircut|
|Gatland questions All Blacks´ bench, Savea absence|
|All Blacks expect to tame Lions, says Read|
|Chelsea, Arsenal to dedicate Community Shield to Grenfell Tower victims|
|Dani Alves drops massive Man City transfer hint|
|Forsberg wants to take next step - agent hits out at ´arrogant´ RB Leipzig|
|Sevilla told €9m not enough to re-sign Inter midfielder Banega|
|ACA rejects improved Cricket Australia offer|
|Klopp must have plan B to fulfil Liverpool´s Premier League ambitions - Garcia|
|Chelsea should forget Bakayoko and give Chalobah a chance - Wilkins|
|Double for Evans as Wales beat Samoa|
|Messi´s prison sentence swapped for fine|
|Neymar would welcome Lucas Lima at Barcelona with ´open arms´|
|Manchester United is a ´tempting invitation´ for Monaco star Fabinho|
|Spalletti cools talk of Valero, Szczesny to Inter|
|Fifita signs long-term Sharks deal|
|Barcelona star Neymar splits with girlfriend Bruna Marquezine|
|Howley disappointed by Spencer incident on Lions tour|
|Luis Garcia: Salah has everything to succeed at Liverpool|
|Astros first to 50 wins after sweep of A´s|
|Cricket Australia offers players improved deal|
|Coyotes split with coach Tippett, citing ´philosophical differences´|
|NBA Draft 2017 full results: 76ers select Fultz with number one pick|
|Timberwolves acquire Butler from Bulls in blockbuster trade|
|Thurston to undergo surgery, miss rest of 2017|
|Bracewell misses out as New Zealand trio earn contracts|
|Cambiasso: I didn´t fit in at Madrid because I wasn´t a galactico|
|Benzema eyeing more titles with Madrid|
|Mignolet ´really hungry´ for silverware with Liverpool|
|Spieth opens with 63 to lead Travelers|
|Ball stays in LA, goes to Lakers with number two pick|
|Philadelphia 76ers select Fultz with number one overall pick|
|Salah: Everything has improved since I left Chelsea|
|Low lauds ´excellent´ Stindl after Germany draw|
|Rangers swoop for Mexico duo Pena and Herrera|
|Confederations Cup Social Diary: Record man Sanchez shines as rivals fail to bury hatchet|
|Sanchez refuses to offer Arsenal future update|
|Confederations Cup Diary: Summer ´snow´ and Ronaldo mural explained|
|Widnes climb off the bottom with Leigh victory|
|Alexis Sanchez´s record-breaking goal ´very special´, says Pizzi|
|Chiefs part ways with Dorsey but give Reid an extension|
|Super Sanchez and Chile thwarted by Germany but World Cup ambitions firmly on track|
|Salah can win at the highest level with Liverpool, says Klopp|
|Hamilton focused on beating Ferrari, not driving for them|
|The life of a front player - Cameroon boss Broos reflects on Aboubakar horror show|
|Liverpool complete €42m Salah signing|
|Azarenka comeback halted by Konjuh in Mallorca|
|Germany 1 Chile 1: Stindl denies record-breaker Sanchez|
|Cameroon identified Ryan weakness, Zambo Anguissa reveals|
|Svitolina doubtful for Wimbledon after Birmingham exit|
|Lonzo Ball makes case for LeBron James to join him on Lakers|
|Hamilton clarifies F1 retirement talk|
|Real Madrid reject Mourinho contract allegations|
|Alexis Sanchez becomes Chile´s all-time top goalscorer with Germany strike|
|Querrey ousts giant-killer Thompson as Cilic powers on|
|Garcia two behind surprise package Ormsby in Munich|
|Shaqiri to Roma? Stoke have ´no plans´ to sell|
|Federer reaches last eight in Halle, injury concern for Nishikori|
|Bad moon rising for Postecoglou as Australia stumble again|
|Day´s struggles continue, McIlroy back in the red|
|Mexico v Russia: Cherchesov ready for ´final´ with last-four spot at stake|
|Cameroon 1 Australia 1: VAR in the spotlight again as Socceroos claim controversial point|