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Playoffs Tonight: Penguins aim to finish off Senators

May 24, 2013, 8:06 AM EDT

OTTAWA, CANADA - MAY 22: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his third period goal against Craig Anderson #41 and Erik Condra #22 of the Ottawa Senators in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Place on May 22, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Francois Laplante/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The New York Rangers lived to fight another day, but all of the second-round series are now just one game away from potentially ending.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at tonight’s offering:

Pittsburgh Penguins host Ottawa Senators (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra)
Pittsburgh leads series 3-1

After taking Game 3 in dramatic fashion, Ottawa got off to an early lead on Wednesday thanks to Milan Michalek‘s shorthanded goal. The Senators ended up entering the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, but it was all downhill from there. By the end of the game, Ottawa had been handed a crushing 7-3 defeat.

After the game Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was asked if it was “feasible to beat them three times in a row.”

“Probably not,” Alfredsson admitted, citing the Penguins’ depth as one of the reasons “it doesn’t look to good.”

Although he later claimed to be “probably” taken out of context, that moment might have caught just how demoralized the Senators were immediately following the game.

Meanwhile his coach, Paul MacLean, was unwilling to even answer questions after the defeat. Instead he pointed to the game sheet saying “everything’s right here.”

“We’re going to Pittsburgh, and we’re coming to play,” MacLean promised before walking away.

We’ll find out soon if the pesky Senators have at least one more surprise left. If not, tonight could mark the end of Alfredsson’s stellar career.

One thing is for sure: Craig Anderson will play between the pipes for the Senators. He was pulled from Game 4 after allowing six goals in 38 shots, but MacLean made it clear that Anderson would be back tonight.

“Andy played fine,” MacLean told the Ottawa Sun. “The play of our goaltender allows us to play with a certain amount of freedom, but at the same time we have to play for him, too.”

At times, Anderson has managed to best the Penguins stellar offense, but Pittsburgh has still scored 16 goals in the second round. He’ll need help if Ottawa’s postseason run is to survive the night.

  1. shannysux - May 24, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    “At times, Anderson has managed to best the Penguins stellar offense” is i think a little misleading. He played great in game 3, that’s it. He’s been run 2 out of the other 3 games, and has not even had a scoreless period outside of game 3.

    • dirt2013 - May 24, 2013 at 10:28 AM

      Just because Anderson has given up a goal in most periods does not mean he played bad. At times he has stood on his head to keep the goal total to one and has been under intense pressure from the Pens.The Sens defense has at times left him hang out to dry IMO.

    • valoisvipers - May 24, 2013 at 4:15 PM

      Yes he has been run out of games but was he bad or just up against too much fire power? The Pens have a pretty good line up and everyone of them is a threat to score so maybe it’s time to give credit where credit is due and stop always looking for fault and scapegoats in others.

  2. sportsfreak13 - May 24, 2013 at 9:06 AM

    This is going to be one heck of a game tonight. The senators are going to throw everything at the pens tonight. The fourth win is always the hardest to get, just ask boston and their minor league team. Pens are 0-6 under bylsma when they have a chance to end a series at home, lets hope that ends tonight.

    • f2maestro - May 24, 2013 at 9:18 AM

      It’ll be interesting to see how well Anderson plays tonight. If the Senators somehow manage to win tonight, it will either be because the Penguins don’t show up at all (which I don’t think will happen) or if Anderson stands on his head (and doesn’t get lit up like a Christmas tree). To sportsfreak13’s point, Anderson (other than game 3) has been less than stellar and has less than a .900 save percentage against Pittsburgh this series. If Anderson can rebound and find his top form, this could end up being a great watch, however I don’t see the Sens beating the Pens tonight.

      • alphalol - May 24, 2013 at 12:09 PM

        “If the Senators somehow manage to win tonight, it will either be because the Penguins don’t show up at all (which I don’t think will happen)”

        Thank your stars your not a Caps fan! >.>

  3. myroncopesflask - May 24, 2013 at 9:15 AM

    I’m sure this game will be much closer than game 4 but no doubt the Pens finish it tonight. I’m guessing 3-1 with an empty netter to seal the deal. Let’s just hope the Rangers win another game or two so the Pens can get some rest. It doesn’t matter who the Pens play the next series but it would be nice to get the old guys on the Pens roster a couple extra days. 1975

    • laxman1944 - May 24, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      Why not 100 to 0????


      • myroncopesflask - May 24, 2013 at 1:32 PM

        Laxman1944 I am now positive at this time that the smartest part of you ran down the crack of your mother’s @$$…1975

      • laxman1944 - May 24, 2013 at 2:10 PM

        Now that just brings a tear to my eye Flask Boy……..

        One of the most tired lines ever……Hence you are The Putz….1975

  4. myroncopesflask - May 24, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    Pesky= Overmatched…. 1975

  5. whiskytango333 - May 24, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Hope CEC is rockin tonight to make it that much harder for the Sens. Finish em off!!

  6. REDSKINSFORLIFE - May 24, 2013 at 10:44 AM

    Lets go Sens!

  7. President Charles Logan - May 24, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    this series was over 8 games ago its been so lobsided

  8. girouxed - May 24, 2013 at 3:16 PM

    Theyre toast, Alfredsson said it himself.

  9. crusty14 - May 24, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    What the hell does lobsided mean?

  10. hibackhand - May 24, 2013 at 7:28 PM

    “We’re going to Pittsburgh, and we’re coming to play,” MacLean promised before walking away.

    He has no idea if they’re coming or going.

  11. joewilliesshnoz - May 24, 2013 at 9:50 PM

    Sayonara, Sens.

  12. 8man - May 24, 2013 at 9:55 PM

    Pens best in the conference. Hate them.

    Sens on the rise. Lot for Ottawa to look forward to. Maybe painful now, but they’ll get better. They’ll challenge.

  13. jaybaileys - May 24, 2013 at 10:19 PM

    Man how bad were Gonchar and Karlsson victimized in this series?

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