The Ottawa Senators are hanging on by their fingernails.
Now, down by a 3-1 count, the fans are chewing theirs.
The Senators are alive — just barely — after the Pittsburgh Penguins walked into Scotiabank Place Wednesday night and pushed Ottawa to the brink of elimination with an ugly 7-3 hammering in front of a shocked crowd of 20,500.
Unless the Senators can pull off a miracle in Game 5 Friday, they’re finished for the year.
"We shut down in that third period and you can't be doing that at this point of the series," said Senators defenceman Marc Methot. "It doesn't feel good. I'm embarrassed. We've got classy fans here. They were standing up for us at the end."
James Neal and Jarome Iginla scored twice while Pascal Dupuis, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz also chipped in as the Penguins took control of the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal. Only Kyle Turris, Milan Michalek and Daniel Alfredsson were able to beat Pittsburgh’s Tomas Vokoun.