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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.

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