Sidney Crosby was in danger of going three games without scoring a point for the first time all season until his power-play goal at 13:53 of the third period got the Pens on the board. The captain’s effort to spark a late rally was for naught, however, and the Pens are left licking some serious wounds.
Top scoring defenseman Justin Schultz and top-six forwards Bryan Rust and Patric Hornqvist, who missed Game 2, didn’t dress in the blowout.
Trevor Daley, injured since Game 5 of the second round, and Mark Streit, who hasn’t played at all this postseason, made their returns but were largely ineffective on a Pens defensive unit that seemed discombobulated in its own end all night.
In all, it’s an alarming loss for Pittsburgh, but not a damning one. At least not yet.
Ottawa went 0-for-4 on the power play and hasn’t scored with the man advantage in eight straight games. A case could be made that the majority of the goals the Pens gave up were fluky or the product of a rusty defense that could right itself before Friday’s critical Game 4, which should be all-telling.
Make no mistake: Markov can still play. Though he recently struggled more in his own end of the ice and his ice-time declined each of the past three seasons, from a career-high 25:14 in 2013-14 to 21:50 this past year, Markov remained an important piece of the puzzle in Montreal. In the 2016-17 season he trailed only Weber Denver Broncos Cheap Jerseys in scoring among Canadiens’ defensemen, recording 36 points in 62 games. Eleven of his 30 assists were on the power Cheap Zach Parise Jerseys play, most on the team.