Date/Time: May 24th, 7:30 PM ET
Television: NBC Sports Network
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The Pittsburgh Penguins have a chance to close out the Ottawa Senators on Friday night at Consol Energy Arena, and it is going to be tough to see any other result than a Pittsburgh win in Game 5, especially knowing how badly Game 4 went for the hosting Sens.
Wednesday night is one that Ottawa would much rather forget. The had a 2-1 lead at the end of the first period, but from that point forward, Pittsburgh went on a 6-0 run over a stretch of about 30 minutes of hockey to take an insurmountable lead. Everything has to be shaken right now if you’re the Senators. The most shaken of the bunch has to be G Craig Anderson. Anderson had a sub-2.00 GAA for these entire playoffs, but all of a sudden, he allowed six goals and was yanked out of a game for the second time in this series. We have seen Anderson be able to take over a game, just as he did in Game 3 in that 2-1 double overtime thriller. However, we have now seen his bad side as well, and it goes without saying that if he has any stretch in this game anything like the stretch he had in the third period that ultimately got him yanked, this series is as good as over with. If there is a bright spot for Ottawa from Game 4, it is that both LW Daniel Alfredsson and D Erik Karlsson, the team’s two best offensive threats, came up with two points each, but it is little to no consolation.
Pittsburgh meanwhile, has to be looking forward to the Eastern Conference Finals, almost certainly against the Boston Bruins. The Pens are one of the best teams in hockey this year, and they showed every bit of that on Wednesday night. We have to remember that G Tomas Vokoun is the man that has taken over as the starter in this series, not G Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury’s days with the team are probably numbered at this point, but that’s not even an underlying story in the Steel City at the moment. Instead, the story is the prowess of all of the goal scorers that this team has. Who in the heck can score seven goals in a playoff game without getting a single point from the defending Conn Smythe Trophy winner? Alas, that’s what happened in Game 4, as C Evgeni Malkin didn’t have a goal or an assist, but the team still scored a touchdown and put up the extra point for good measure.
The Penguins are just too deep. They aren’t losing this game, and they aren’t losing this series. Pittsburgh will move onto the Eastern Conference Finals with a convincing victory over the Senators, who have to be demoralized once and for all after Game 4’s disaster.
Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins Game 5 Pick: Pittsburgh Penguins
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.