With a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Pittsburgh Penguins look to end the season of the Ottawa Senators and advance to the Eastern Conference Finals tonight with a victory in game five from Pittsburgh.
When and where: Consol Energy Center (Pittsburgh, PA); 7:30 pm/et (NBC Sports Network, CBC, RDS)
Series record: Penguins lead 3-1
Last game: The Pittsburgh Penguins took game four from the Ottawa Senators, 7-3, on Wednesday night. Pittsburgh was led by two-goal efforts from James Neal and Jarome Iginla, along with four assists from Kris Letang. Craig Anderson was a brick wall early in the first period, but ended up getting pulled after Sidney Crosby embarrassed Chris Phillips for the Penguins’ sixth goal of the night.
Keys to the game:
1. End it: In the first round, the Penguins let the New York Islanders hang around for too long. They can’t do that again with the Senators. Pittsburgh has had trouble closing out games, look at game three, and they need to tighten up in the closing minutes and not let the Senators have any thoughts about staying in the game and the series.
2. Power play: The past two games have seen the Penguins give up shorthanded goals. That should not happen if you have the man advantage. If the Penguins want to end the Senators tonight, not only do they have to capitalize on their power play opportunities, but they also have to keep Ottawa from scoring shorthanded goals.
Penguins: LW Brenden Morrow (undisclosed)
Senators: D Patrick Weircioch (lower body), C Mike Hoffman (collarbone), LW Dave Dziurzynski (concussion), D Eric Gryba (upper body)
-With a victory tonight, the Penguins would close out a series at home for the first time since the 2008 Eastern Conference Finals against the Philadelphia Flyers.
-There’s a new big screen across the street from the Consol Energy Center.
Projected lines (via Emptynetters):
14 Chris Kunitz (A)-87 Sidney Crosby (C)-9 Pascal Dupuis
12 Jarome Iginla-71 Evgeni Malkin (A)-18 James Neal
24 Matt Cooke-16 Brandon Sutter-48 Tyler Kennedy
19 Beau Bennett-36 Jussi Jokinen-27 Craig Adams
44 Brooks Orpik-7 Paul Martin
4 Mark Eaton-58 Kris Letang
3 Douglas Murray-2 Matt Niskanen
92 Tomas Vokoun (5-1-1, .942 Save %, 1.82 GAA)
9 Milan Michalek-19 Jason Spezza-11 Daniel Alfredsson (C)
14 Colin Greening-7 Kyle Turris-22 Erik Condra
15 Zack Smith-93 Mika Zibanejad-33 Jakob Silfverberg
89 Cory Conacher-44 Jean-Gabriel Pageau-25 Chris Neil (A)
65 Erik Karlsson-3 Marc Methot
4 Chris Phillips (A)-61 Andre Benoit
2 Jared Cowen-55 Sergei Gonchar
41 Craig Anderson (5-3-0, .928 Save %, 2.66 GAA)