The Ottawa Senators’ season is officially on the brink of termination.

With the team already down 2-0 in their series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa needed a win in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference quarter-final last night in order to get things turned around. But instead the Penguins knocked off the Senators 4-1 at Scotiabank Place.

Even the unexpected return of captain Daniel Alfredsson could not jumpstart the Senators. Alfredsson returned to the lineup at his own request, even though he wasn’t nearly 100 per cent healthy following a late-season injury. Ottawa now must win its next four games to stay alive in this year’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

Marian Hossa had a three-point night for the Penguins, with a goal and two assists. Linemate Sidney Crosby chipped in with a goal and an assist.

Jordan Staal and Maxime Talbot scored singles for the Penguins, who can wrap up the series with a victory tomorrow night at Scotiabank Place.

Rookie Nick Foligno had Ottawa’s lone goal.

“We’re going to have to try and win a hockey game,” said Bryan Murray, the Sens GM and head coach, when asked what his plan will be for Game 4. “It will be an uphill battle but we’ll play like it’s sudden death, which it is if we don’t win.”

After a scoreless first period, Foligno gave the 19,961 fans in attendance something to cheer about 71 seconds into the middle frame when he finished off an individual effort to put the Senators up 1-0.

Foligno registered his first NHL playoff goal after chipping the puck past Penguins defenceman Ryan Whitney just inside the Pittsburgh blue-line, then beating Marc-Andre Fleury with a quick shot to the goaltender’s stick side.

Maxime Talbot, the ex-Gatineau Olympiques captain, responded for Pittsburgh less than five minutes later, finishing off a three-way passing play with Hossa and Pascal Dupuis.

The Penguins put the game out of reach as Crosby, Staal and Hossa scored in the first nine minutes of the period.

Latest From ...