Pittsburgh Penguins Demolish Ottawa Senators in ECF Game 5

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PITTSBURGH, PA - MAY 21: Carter Rowney #37 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates after Bryan Rust #17 scored a goal against Craig Anderson #41 of the Ottawa Senators during the first period in Game Five of the Eastern Conference Final during the 2017 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at PPG PAINTS Arena on May 21, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

The Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators were tied 2-2 in the Eastern Conference Final going into game five and the Penguins came out flying. Pittsburgh scored four first period goals and never looked back on their way to a 7-0 win. They lead the Eastern Conference Final 3 games to 2. The Penguins are one win away from going back to the Stanley Cup Final for the second consecutive year. Game 6 will be in Ottawa on Tuesday night. If neccessary, game 7 will be in Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

Pittsburgh Penguins Demolish Ottawa Senators in ECF Game 5, Take a 3-2 Series Lead

Penguins offense explodes

The Penguins were the highest scoring team during the regular season. Through three games, they only had three goals against the Senators. They were getting pucks on net but they just weren’t going in. Pittsburgh was able to score three goals in Game 4. Their big offensive explosion came tonight as they racked up seven goals against the Senators. A lot of the depth players were scoring for the Penguins in Game 5. It was not just Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, or Phil Kessel. Defenceman Olli Maatta opened the scoring with a shot from the point that beat Craig Anderson for his second career playoff goal. It was also his second goal in as many games.

Crosby went on to re-direct a shot past Craig Anderson to make it 2-0. Brian Rust would get his sixth goal of the playoffs to put the Penguins up three. Craig Anderson would wind up getting pulled after the first period when Scott Wilson scored. He was replaced by Mike Condon for the second and third periods.

Matt Cullen scored the fifth goal, while Kessel and Daley completed the touchdown for the Penguins. They shut out Ottawa for the second time this series.

“The Shift”

During the first period when it was 2-0, the Penguins had one of the best shifts of the Stanley Cup playoffs and basically put the game out of reach. The Penguins were in Ottawa’s zone for nearly 90 seconds as evidenced here before they scored:

That is straight up dominance by the Penguins and is something we haven’t seen in this series yet. The Senators had no chance to make a line change during that shift because the Penguins were just pouring it on with shots and keeping it in the zone before Rust made it 3-0.

Anderson not nearly good enough

Craig Anderson has been great during the series, especially the first three games as he only allowed three goals. Today though, it was a different story. He had an off-game and it was on his 36th birthday no less. The first goal to Maatta was stoppable. On the fourth goal he was beaten by Wilson on a bad angle shot from almost behind the net. There’s no doubt he’s going to need to be much better in Game 6 if Ottawa is going to force the series back to Pittsburgh. He will need to stand tall for Ottawa to have a chance to move on to their first Stanley Cup Final in a decade.

Next game

The two teams will meet again on Tuesday night in Ottawa for Game 6 as the Senators face their first elimination game of the playoffs. If Ottawa wins, the series goes back to Pittsburgh for a decisive game seven.

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