Re-Live Ottawa’s Season Saving Win Against Pittsburgh


This past season for the Ottawa Senators was incredible. Or I should probably say the last two months. Nevertheless, the last two months of the season gave us so many amazing moments, and one of the best was their 4-3 comeback win over the Pittsburgh Penguins in the last week season. That game will be the focus of this weeks Throwback Thursday, as re-living those four straight goals makes me nostalgic.

Let’s take a look back at the game:

Before The Game

Going into the last five games of the season, I remember saying that they will most likely need to go 4-1-0 to make it, and perhaps 3-1-1 would be good enough. Even with a strong finish, they needed some help from teams playing the Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins, and Detroit Red Wings. The Senators beat the Capitals in overtime on Saturday, but fell to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a shootout the following day, putting a damper on their playoff hopes.

On the day of the game against the Penguins, Ottawa sat at 93 points, while the Bruins, Penguins and Red Wings had 95 with all of the teams having the same amount of games played. With Boston winning five straight games, Pittsburgh looked like a more likely team to pass since Ottawa was also about to play them. However, they needed all six points in their final games.

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During The Game

Everyone knew how important of a game this was. If you got to your seat at the game 11 seconds after puck drop, you would have already missed the first goal of the game. Sidney Crosby put the Penguins on the board first, and it was the worst imaginable start.

Then just a few minutes later, things got worse. Mike Hoffman couldn’t clear the puck, and gave it right to defenseman Ian Cole. Cole had lots of time at the top of the zone, and found a wide open Beau Bennett at the side of the net. Bennett took the pass off his skate, and easily deposited it in while being unmarked by Ottawa’s defense.

Near the end of the period, Ottawa got some awful luck. Crosby shot a back-hand from the right side, which Andrew Hammond was able to awkwardly stop with his shoulder. But he was coming across from the other side, and the puck ricocheted off his shoulder and way up into the air. Hammond had no idea where it was, and it came all the way back down right into the crease where Patric Hornqvist was to tap it in.

It was horrible luck, but just like that it looked like the game was over. It prompted this infamous tweet from Don Brennan:

It seems that lit a spark for Ottawa, and they wanted to prove everybody wrong. Obviously they didn’t actually see the Brennan tweet, but they wanted to prove that they truly were the team that never gives up.

I remember coming home to the score being 3-0, and I reluctantly put the game on. I knew that if they could get within two goals going into the third they would have a chance. With over five minutes left in the second period, Jean-Gabriel Pageau gave them some life. Pittsburgh had a chance to lock this game up as they were on the power play, but instead Pageau took the puck all the way from his own zone, beat Paul Martin wide and threw a pass out in front of the net.

The pass looked harmless as Erik Condra wasn’t going to get the pass, but the puck deflected off of Derrick Pouliot‘s skate and in. Just like that, Ottawa had life. When he scored I’m sure a lot of fans went “Oh! Okay, maybe we have a chance.” That’s what I felt at least, and there was a sense that they weren’t going down without a fight.

Apr 7, 2015; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; The Ottawa Senators celebrate a short-handed goal scored by center Jean-Gabriel Pageau (44) in the second period against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

They came out of the gate with a perfect start in the third period, as Mark Stone scored just 34 seconds in. Clarke MacArthur was able to take the puck from Daniel Winnik in the slot, and he passed it to Stone who was in a great spot for a shot. He made no mistake, and the crowd went nuts.

If you had turned the game off after it was 3-0, surely you had turned it back on after Stone’s goal. Just like that the Senators were playing like a playoff team, and a comeback seemed inevitable.

During the third period, Ottawa out-shot Pittsburgh 18-3. It was an absolute massacre, and yet somehow the Penguins held the lead for a long time. They had been sitting back ever since it was 3-0, and Ottawa took advantage of it. The Senators had chance after chance, but Marc-Andre Fleury was playing surprisingly well.

With just under two minutes left, there was a faceoff in Pittsburgh’s zone, and Dave Cameron pulled Hammond to get the extra attacker. He put Mike Hoffman on the point so he could use his wicked shot, and oh did it ever pay off. Mika Zibanejad got the loose puck on the faceoff, and quickly gave it to Hoffman.

It truly was an amazing night to be a Senators fan

He wasted no time in wired the shot right past Fleury’s glove. It was a classic Hoffman shot, and the reaction from the crowd was even better than the previous goal. That goal sent the game to overtime, but it seemed like it Ottawa was going to win eventually.

In overtime, Kyle Turris came down with Karlsson and Stone on a 3 on 2. He dished it off to Karlsson, who then made another cross-ice pass to Stone in the slot. Stone danced around Evgeni Malkin and was wide open. He made no mistake on a fantastic shot that Fleury had no chance on, and the Senators had completed the amazing comeback. I’ll never forget the call from Chris Cuthbert too: “Stone…Scores! Mark Stone! Again!”

It felt like a playoff game, as the crowd was so into it and it felt like Ottawa had already accomplished their goal of making the playoffs. It truly was an amazing night to be a Senators fan, and it is fantastic watching it over and over again. Here are the highlights for your viewing pleasure:


This game was a perfect embodiment of the Senators season. You aren’t supposed to come back from losing 3-0, and you aren’t supposed to make the playoffs after being 14 points out. But this team had no quit in them, and they played fantastic while facing some adversity. After that game, they went on to win the last two games of the season, which were equally as massive wins.

The funny thing is that with the Bruins stumbling in the last three games, Ottawa actually finished three points ahead of them, and even one point up on Pittsburgh. If Ottawa had lost that game in regulation, they still would have made the playoffs somehow. At the time it seemed like their season was over, but Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman were there to save the day.

It’s a game that will go down in history, and I know I’ll never forget it. If you want to explain the 2014-15 Senators, just show the highlights from this game.

Next: Busy Summer Ahead For The Ottawa Senators