Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Senators 1 Sabres 0

I've fallen behind in my game recaps, and since most people don't care to rehash games that happened a week ago, I'll keep the recaps for games 3 and 4 rather brief and to the point.

Senators Goals:
Alfredsson (9) from Heatley (13) and Spezza (12)

0 for 7 on the PP
6 for 6 on the PK

Emery made 15 saves for his third shutout of the post-season

Arena 3 Stars:
1. Alfredsson
2. Redden
3. Miller

Team 1200 3 Stars:
1. Alfredsson
2. Redden
3. Miller

My 3 Stars:
1. Alfredsson
2. Miller
3. Volchenkov

Heading into Monday night's game three, the Senators found themselves in a situation unique to their 2007 playoff run. For the first time in their modern history, the Senators found themselves with a 2-0 lead in a series. Game 3 was evidently a critical junction in the series - should the Senators lose, their lead would split in half to 2-1 and the possibility of a Sabres comeback weigh heavy on their minds. But should they win the third game, the Senators would take a 3-0 strangehold on the series and, almost certainly, punch a ticket to the Stanley Cup finals. Well, Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller did everything in his power to prevent the latter from happening - his teammates, not so much. For, as many strong performances as Ottawa has provided over the course of this playoff run, never in Senators history has a team been so thoroughly dominant. The 1-0 scoreline gives the lacklustre Sabres far, far too much credit; aside from an all-star showing from Miller and some competent penalty killing, the Sabres may well have given up the series at the first drop of the puck. But blaming the loss on a poor showing from the Sabres gives their opponent too little credit - the Senators put on a defensive clinic, and stifled the Sabres penalty kill with a perfection yet unseen. And still, the Sabres remained in the game thanks to outstanding goaltending from their young star netminder. The Senators lone goal came thanks to a wacky rebound of a Dany Heatley shot, bouncing off the boards before deflecting off Miller's glove and trickling through the blue paint, before Daniel Alfredsson tapped in his ninth goal of the post-season. It may have been a tough break for the Sabres, but as Alfredsson stated after the victory, "you make your own luck. If you work hard, you're going to get your bounces". In the playoffs, truer words could not be said.


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