Penguins rout Senators, return to Eastern Conference final
Everything about this knockout was technical.
The Penguins, though, were all power and might in their second-round slamming of the Ottawa Senators.
They advanced to the Eastern Conference final with a 6-2 win over the Senators on Friday.
“The depth we have showed, different guys chipping in,” captain Sidney Crosby said of what he liked most about a best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal they won, 4-1.
That said it all, actually.
The Penguins doubled-up the Senators, 22-11, in a five-game romp against the team that finished the regular season second in goals-against average and first in penalty kill.
They chased goalie Craig Anderson twice, and bested him for at least four goals three times.
Anderson allowed four goals only twice during the season.
He, like the Senators, succumbed to a Penguins' power play that was devastating, dominant — if at times a bit too daring.
The Penguins went 6 for 25 (24 percent) in the series, all of those goals coming in their wins.
“I hope they don't bill us for the clinic,” Senators coach Paul MacLean said.
Up next for the Penguins is either Boston or the New York Rangers, and the series will open with Games 1 and 2 at Consol Energy Center at a date to be determined.
Tickets go on sale Saturday at noon.
Winger James Neal might want the next series to begin then, too.
He had only one goal going into Game 4 on Wednesday, but finished as the Penguins' leader against the Senators with five markers.
He turned a hat trick in Game 5, which returning winger Brenden Morrow (left arm) opened with a goal about seven minutes into the first period.
Neal scored next, on a second-period power play, and from that point it seemed clear that Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson had been spot-on with his series assessment after the Penguins' 7-3 win in Game 4.
The Penguins were just too much too handle.
Alfredsson, along with former Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar playing perhaps his last NHL game, provided his opposition with its greatest compliment by basically conceding the series after the Senators' third loss.
However, defenseman Marc Methot perhaps most accurately captured what these Penguins are like when he referred to them as “a monster.”
Fittingly, Michael Keaton, the Coraopolis-born Hollywood star who played “Beetlejuice” and “Batman,” took in Game 5 from Consol Energy Center.
Coach Dan Bylsma is directing a film with many stars — consider that 500-goal scorer Jarome Iginla has switched positions and agreed to play on the second power-play unit just to be a part of this cast — although one has shined most unexpectedly.
Tomas Vokoun replaced franchise goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 5 of Round 1 and has lost just once.
The Senators needed five-plus periods to defeat him in Game 3, and he would have won that had the Penguins' power play not allowed a goal while protecting a 1-0 lead with 29 seconds to play.
Vokoun made 29 saves in Game 5. He finished the series with a .935 save percentage.
“Obviously, Vokoun was very solid for us all the way through,” Crosby said.
There were few Penguins who weren't solid — from Crosby, who scored highlight-reel goals in Games 2 and 4, to winger Matt Cooke, who finished with 20 hits.
The Penguins had not defeated a lower-seeded opponent in three years or won a series in two before knocking off the Islanders in Round 1.
They had not wrapped a series at home in five years since ousting the Senators in Round 2.
They have not been to the Stanley Cup Final in four years.
That is what Round 3 will be about.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- Developer reveals Buncher plans for 400 Strip District apartments, townhomes
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason
- Pederson’s 2nd tenure as the athletic director at Pitt comes to abrupt end
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- Judge dismisses littering charge against former colleague City Council president Bruce Kraus
- Armstrong man dies in single-vehicle crash
- Toast of the Town: Explore Lawrenceville’s many watering holes
- QB Smith is chief concern for Steelers’ defense
- Penguins’ Fleury tests negative for mumps; Crosby skates with team
- Steelers notebook: Brown leads WRs in Pro Bowl voting, Bell 2nd at RB