Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators - 5/21/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

May 22, 2017, 15:32
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators - 5/21/17 NHL Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Before the puck even dropped for their first playoff game, the Pittsburgh Penguins lost their primary goaltender.

That combined with the fact the Senators play a system that just isn't going to allow too much offense on the rush means Crosby and his linemates will have to generate in other areas at even strength. "They're going to look good". We may never know.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby also added a goal and an assist in the victory, hours before which Pittsburgh coach Mike Sullivan talked about the need for more scoring throughout the lineup.

The Senators came out charging in the third period, hoping to make up the two-goal disadvantage and at least force overtime, something they have excelled at this spring.

The Senators have gained confidence using coach Guy Bouchers neutral zone clogging system and have prevented the Penguins from sustaining consistent pressure in front of Anderson.

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"You know, each time I've gotten hurt, I've come back stronger", Murray said Thursday. The Senators stretched their slump to 0-for-25 in the last nine games when they went 0-for-4 with the man-advantage - including one in the final minute. The TV cameras caught a frustrated Karlsson upset with centre Kyle Turris after a power play in the second. "It's not easy. All I can really do is kind of jump in and try not to think about it. That's the choice that we made".

"A good chunk of us have played together for a while, been through different situations", Crosby said.

The Penguins were already thin at the bench with forwards Bryan Rust, Patric Hornqvist and Tom Kuhnhackl and defenseman Justin Schultz sitting out Game 4 because of injuries.

"That's been a hard decision for this coaching staff all year long", Sullivan said of choosing between Fleury and Murray. "We were trying to find it a little bit, we did that in the third a little bit especially, but if we had done that (early) it probably would have been a different story". We had a lot of energy.

The goal brought some life into the building because it hadn't been pretty until then.

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The Penguins pulled out to a 3-0 lead when Dumoulin's shot appeared to bounce off Dion Phaneuf's skate and beat Anderson on the glove side. The Senators' faithful weren't happy with their club's effort and they had right to be upset - this wasn't what anybody expected with so much on the line.

And when Murray went down, Fleury stepped in and was at a.924 save percentage in these playoffs, with people in an out of the organization calling him the team's best player.

Chad Ruhwedel left the game and didn't return after he was hit into the boards by Ottawa forward Bobby Ryan in the final seconds of the first period.

Crosby's goal in Wednesday's 5-1 loss was his first since scoring twice in Game 1 against the Washington Capitals on April 27. As of this writing, this year's playoffs have featured 46 one goal games. “These guys have both helped us win games. "We have two great goalies here". "We had to have our best game and we fell short of that". The lanky backstop made his postseason debut in Game 3 of these conference finals Wednesday night, yielding one goal on 20 shots in relief of a struggling Marc-Andre Fleury.

"We put (Fleury) in a tough spot (in Game 3). Just like everyone else, he'll turn the page, and we will as a group and make sure we're better".

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