The Ottawa Senators played better in Game 2 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series with the Pittsburgh Penguins. They only lost by a goal, and they put in three. Sidney Crosby, however, put in his second postseason hat trick, Brendan Morrow added one, the Pens chased Craig Anderson, and that was all Pittsburgh needed to push Ottawa into what is essentially a must-win Game 3.
The Senators still haven't played their A-game in the series. Not only did Anderson give up the entire hat trick, he gave up four goals in 28 minutes, getting pulled for Robin Lehner, who many would argue played a lot better than Anderson did in a game and a half. Erik Karlsson looked average again, getting taken to school by Crosby on his first goal. You have to wonder just how healthy he is right now.
Game 3 takes place at Scotiabank Place, and features a lineup change that could be the Sens' last gasp at making a move in this series. Jason Spezza, out for the last 50 games after surgery to repair a herniated disk in his back, will draw into the Ottawa lineup. This means that pretty much every major figure who got hurt during the Senators' stunning run to the postseason -- Anderson, Karlsson, Milan Michalek, Jared Cowen -- has finally returned. They'll see if they can turn the series around in Game 3 on Sunday night.
Is Jason Spezza's return too little too late?
Spezza is, no doubt, an elite forward. But is an elite forward who just missed the last four months and probably not coming back at 100 percent worth the risk? Karlsson has already showed that, at times, it might not be good to rush back from major injury. Spezza is a champ for coming back all this way, but the Senators have already stayed on schedule by making it a round further than they did last year. You have to wonder if there might come a moment where it would be more wise not to play all the recovering stars.
What's Sid got for a follow up?
New York Islander fans derided him as "Princess Crosby" during round one, but he was no less than a king on Friday night. His hat trick displayed all the different skills Gentleman Sid (because Sid the Kid is silly now) has in his arsenal: a brilliant deke by Karlsson, a bank shot that handcuffed Craig Anderson and a pure slap shot. The best player on earth lived up to his name and more on Friday. Can he top it?
Is Tomas Vokoun that much of an improvement?
Tomas Vokouns hasn't played all that well in his last three games. He's won all of them, but he's given up eight goals despite not being tested that much, especially in the two against the Senators. He only made 19 saves on 22 shots Friday night. That's not good enough against a team that will, ostensibly, become more dangerous offensively on Sunday. He will need to be better, or the goaltending carousel in Pittsburgh might take another turn.
Game Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
National TV: CBC, NBC Sports Network