Senators Lose 6-2 to Penguins; 4-1 in Series

Game 5 – With the season on the line for the Senators, most fans of the team were hopeful they would come out on fire and play their most complete game of the series.  Of course, it would be easier said than done against the top-seeded Penguins, who clearly had the more talented club and were capitalizing on every Ottawa mistake.

The game-time decisions were in – Conacher in for Stone, Morrow in for Bennett.  Time to play.

It didn’t get off to a good start for the Senators.  A race to the puck between Jared Cowen & Matt Cooke was won by Cooke, who quickly fed a streaking Mark Eaton.  Eaton’s pass to Brenden Morrow, who had beat Cowen to the net, was redirected off his skate to open the scoring and put Ottawa in an even more desperate state.

Final shots to the opening frame were 12-10 in favour of Pittsburgh, but Craig Anderson was the only reason the score was so close.

Onto the second, where the pain continued for Senator fans.  During a Penguins power-play, the puck ended up in the skates of Craig Anderson, who had no idea where it was.  Sidney Crosby found it and jarred it loose for James Neal, who made it 2-0.  Any hope that the Senators could pull off the comeback was slowly fading away.

It was then totally extinguished during 4 on 4 play when Kris Letang received a pass, cut to the centre of the ice and snapped it over Craig Anderson’s glove to give Pittsburgh a 3 goal lead.

A late Milan Michalek goal raised some eyebrows until Evgeni Malkin sealed the deal with a breakaway goal to regain the 3 goal lead.

The third period was a formality as the Penguins went on to a 6-2 victory and 4 games to 1 series win over the Senators.

While Sens fans may be disappointed in the team’s 2nd round result, their playoff run was just another step in the organization’s rebuild towards a Stanley Cup champion.  There were plenty of positives from the shortened 2013 season;  whether it be the performance of the Binghamton players, the steady presence of the veteran leadership group or the clinching of a playoff  spot despite all the injuries to the star players.

The future is bright for the Ottawa Senators…..questions is, will it include captain Daniel Alfredsson?

Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Coach MacLean, Chris Phillips, Craig Anderson, Erik Karlssson & Marc Methot (video – Senstv)

http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=250925

Notes: James Neal completed his first career NHL playoff hat-trick with 2 goals in the third.

Sergei Gonchar & Jared Cowen finished -7 & -6  for the series.

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