The Battle of Ottawa is won.
The War for the Eastern Conference is just beginning.
After spending the last few years searching for it high and low, the Penguins have definitely found their killer instinct. Whether or not Ottawa is even that good is a moot discussion. The Penguins played Game 5 like they had to. They needed to get up early; they did. They needed to get up big; they did.
They needed their goalie to make some saves.
He did.
And with that came the end of Ottawa Senators. We'll recap the entire series over the weekend, but Game 5 was a perfect microcosm: The Pens dominated, the Senators made it remotely interesting for a fraction of time, and then it was over.

Always nice to see Michael Keaton.

And there's Franco Harris, probably charging that kid $50 to shake his hand.


The Pens came out searching for the kill shot, but Mr. Anderson was there to delay the inevitable. Aside from Craig Anderson, the Senators didn't look like they wanted to be there.

The CONSOL fans were looking for a reason to explode, and they got it after a tic-tac-toe passing play from Cooke, Eaton, and Morrow. From some angles, it looked like there was a kicking motion. From other angles, it looked right as rain.


Matt Cooke was completely out of his mind in the first period. It felt like the puck was following him. He generated a bunch of scoring chances, but he couldn't send anything home.

Then came the penalty on Sidney Crosby. Crosby stripped Condra of the puck in the Sens' zone and would have had a great look at Anderson, but he got called for hooking.

Real soft call. But the ref saw it as a penalty that created a scoring chance. Not even Crosby is going to get the benefit of the doubt.
The Penguins penalty kill was a clinic, and the Pens went right back to work.
Kunitz and Sutter got great chances, but it was Anderson again.
Pens were all systems go. Senators escaped down only one.


With the Senators hanging around, the Pens stepped up their game trying to draw a penalty. After Crosby and James Neal both got jobbed, it didn't look like there were going to be any power plays.
But then Jean-Gabriel Poopstain cross-checked Craig Adams. A really stupid penalty.
Yelling at Adams to "stay on your fucking feet."

Power play

The Pens number-one unit came out rolling. Some great movement and chances but no results. The second unit came out for 20 seconds, and then the top unit was right back out there.

Well played. Because James Neal got on the ice and would not be denied. He went to the good ol' dirty area and smashed home a loose rebound. 2-0.

A couple minutes later, in typical Chris Neil fashion, he took a stupid penalty. The Pens' PP had a minute to do some work, but then Malkin went off.

it was 4-on-4 hockey, the least desirable way to play this Pens team.

And Kris Letang put on his Norris Trophy hat. TK carried it in and dished to Letang, while TK and Jussi drove to the net. Letang cut across the middle and sniped Anderson, who decided it was smart to leave the stamp part of the net wide open.

3-0. That right there was the game-winning goal.

Give some love to Jokinen's drive to the net on the play, too. Throwing ice shavings into a guy's face probably doesn't help said guy make a save.

Interesting moment came sometime in the second when Zach Smith hooked up Malkin after an offside call. It was pretty innocent, but Jarome Iginla didn't like it at all:

Remember when he attacked Brian Strait on a Pens PP when Strait boarded Crosby? Iginla doesn't like anyone touching either of these guys.


The Senators weren't gonna go quietly into the night. After that Letang goal, they had basically 3 straight minutes of PP time after Murray tossed one over the glass. Michalek made it 3-1 as time expired on the Murray penalty.

But the Penguins wouldn't have any of it. Cue the killer instinct and the descent of the coffin lid.

It all started with Evgeni Malkin.

If you want to get serious about it, it actualyl all started with Tomas Vokoun. Kunitz and Turris went off, making it 4-on-4. Kris Letang was Letanging, and the Sens jobbed him and went the other way. It was one of the better scoring chances of the game for the Sens, and Vokoun made probably the biggest save of the game.

The play progressed to the other end of the ice, and Malkin dogged a Senator, picking his pocket and shoving it over to Neal all in the same motion. That same motion also saw Malkin circling back toward the Sens' zone, and James Neal delivered a pass onto Malkin's tape.


Crippling goal to give up.


The goal was so hot and good, even Terrie from the anti-smoking ads needed to light up a square afterward.


Coming Back in the Third Period of a Hockey Game 101: Stay out of the penalty box.

The Sens were too cool for school and were killing penalties for 4:00 of the first 6:00 of the third. The stupidest penalty was Chris Neil messing with Douglas Murray in front of Vokoun.
Is that "nice fucking call, you faggot"? Yikes.

Turris and Martin went off for something in there, too.

Tick tick tick. The Sens' season was running out.

It crept over the 10-minute mark, and the Sens were gonna go all-in. But James Neal was lurking. Gonchar served it up on a platter for him. Neal cut to the front of the net and shot it. It hit Pageau and went in. 5-1.

Two minutes later, Letang was feeling frisky and stepped up on Turris. Turris loled, went into the zone, and beat Vokoun on a great shot. The way Vokoun is playing, the great shots are the only ones that are getting through. The funniest part about it was it came when the CONSOL crowd was singing "Na na na na hey hey hey goodbye." 5-2.

It was already too little, too late for the Sens. They were gonna have to score 6 goals to win the game now. That wasn't gonna happen, and everyone knew it.

In a pretty phsyical series, there wasn't much to write home about in that department as time ticked off. The Sens just wanted to go home.

With about 2 minutes left, Neal was on his way to a hat trick, and Karlsson got abused again:





Pics: AP/Getty