Sunday's Pens and Senators game was the worst of the series for the Penguins.
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They gained some momentum in game 2...and it lasted into game 3...for about 5 minutes.
Game 3 was so disappointing because the Penguins should feel they have a chance to win this series, but they are not playing like it. They should be past the "wow, we are in the playoffs" feeling, and settling into, "we can win this thing" mode.
I think game 3 was even more disappointing than game 1. In game 1 the Senators simply flattened the starstruck Penguins. Game 3 was much more up for grabs. The Senators deserve credit for playing a strong game, but the Penguins deserve a fair share of the blame for the outcome as well. You can't play 10 minutes of good hockey and expect to win the game.
As the Penguins and their fans wish for a better performance in game 4, the Senators and their fans should wish for the same from the Penguins.
If the Penguins can't start to compete better, this is going to be a short series. I know a lot of Sens fans would say "GREAT!" --- but aside from a few extra days rest, there really isn't much more that's positive about that outcome. The lack of competition in round 1 won't help the Senators much going into round 2. In fact, it might be the kind of thing that really hurts them.
Often, a good challenge in round 1 is what sets the tone for the rest of the rounds. If the Senators want to make a run at the cup, they better hope the Penguins start to give them more of a game.
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