Penguins rout Senators to take 3-1 series lead
Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby was careful not to get too far ahead of himself after helping the Penguins beat the Ottawa Senators 7-3 to take a 3-1 lead in the NHL Eastern Conference semi-final series.
"I'm not talking about anything ahead of game five," the Pittsburgh captain said when asked about a potential Eastern Conference final against the Boston Bruins.
But after the result and the manner of victory in game four, it's hard to imagine Crosby and his teammates aren't starting to think about facing the Bruins - up 3-0 in their series against the New York Rangers.
Jarome Iginla and James Neal each scored twice for the Penguins while Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis added goals, and Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves.
Down 2-1 after the first period, the visitors scored twice in a 40-second span early in the second and added four goals in the first 10 minutes in the third.
Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa. Senators goalie Craig Anderson was benched after Pittsburgh's sixth goal, and Robin Lehner finished the game.
"There was a sense like, 'Okay, this might take as many shots as we can muster to break this guy'. And fortunately, we kept on that mindset," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "It was a matter of, 'We are going to have to fire anything and everything we can at this guy to get one by him'."
Game five is tonight in Pittsburgh.
"I know what we're going to do," Alfredsson said. "We're going to go out and play one hell of a game. That doesn't worry me at all. We never quit and that's not going to stop now. We know the odds are against us in every way, but we never quit and that's going to continue."
The Senators opened the scoring on Michalek's short-handed goal at 2:29 of the first period. Alfredsson fed the puck up the middle to a streaking Michalek, who broke through the defence and beat Vokoun low on the glove side.
It was the Senators' first lead of the series and it wouldn't last.