I'll admit, I was pretty sure they were toast going into last night's game. I already had it all planned out. After the loss, I was going to curse and stomp around my parents' house and maybe even cry, like I usually do when the Sens are beat out of the playoffs. Then I was going to go outside and rip my car flag off, and then drive home like a maniac, barrel into the house, and tear down my big Sens flag out of the living room window.
And then I was gonna be one ugly bitch all day today.
But instead, I'm a giddy bundle of happiness, thanks to some amazing netminding from Pascal Leclair (yes, one of my goalies learned how to stop the puck - for one night, anyway) - and a HUUUUUUUUUUUUGE goal in the third OT by our wonderfully wonderful Matt Carkner!!
Who picked Carkner to score the winner?? Anyone??
Of course not. Carkner's a defenceman whose specialty is fighting and grinding. But you know what? The sun shines on a dog's arse once in awhile, and I'm pretty sure Matt Carkner will never forget the way it felt to score that goal last night.
The Sens let the Pens know early on that they weren't going to go quietly into the night. They scored twice in the first period, with goals coming from Mikey Fisher and Jarkko Ruutu. My hopes were soaring again.
Then, for some reason, they took a giant group snooze, and relied heavily on Leclaire to keep them in the game. However, with the firepower that the Penguins hold, it was inevitable - they scored a late first-period goal, a late second-period goal, and in the third, who other than Crosby would score the go-ahead goal. Amidst all of this, the horrendous officiating persisted, and I was struggling to figure out why the Hockey Gods hated me & my team so much.
The CBC was also the target of much of my wrath. I detest Glen Healy, and Bob Cole is a complete joke. When Peter Regin scored to tie the game in the latter part of period 3, it was like he caught Bob totally off-guard. "Oh, what do you know...The Sens score...Maybe it isn't over after all..." Gee, Bobbo, try not to sound too excited, huh? The Crosby Broadcast Corporation is pathetic. Period.
The first OT was unbelievable. The Sens had a million chances, and couldn't capitalize on them. Well, actually, Nick Foligno did score, but it was ruled that he had kicked it in. Which he clearly did not, but because they made the same ruling against one of the Sedins (I don't know which one is which) in the Vancouver/LA series earlier in the playoffs, it didn't surprise me. SO frustrating, though.
The Pens had their fair share of chances as well. Chris Kunitz scored a goal that was also called back after he re-directed the puck in with a high stick late in the third period. And I'm pretty sure Evgeni "Big Lips" Malkin heard the clanging of the post he hit in one of the OTs in his sleep last night.
As the game stretched into the third OT, and became the longest Sens game in franchise history, I was getting more and more nervous. All these chances, Leclaire standing on his head... how long could it go on?
When Carkner took the feed from Alfie in the Pens zone and shot the puck past Marc-Andre Fleury for the winning goal, it was a feeling of complete elation. Happiness for Carkner, relief for Leclaire, and pride in knowing that my Sens aren't going down without a fight.
There's nothing quite like that feeling of winning in OT - let alone triple-OT.
And the Sens live to play another day. Saturday night at SBP...do-or-die time. Again.