SERIES RECAP: ROUND 2. A bump along the way.

Ottawa's claim to fame coming into this series was that they were pesky. So are mosquitoes. The only difference between the two is one was willing to get blood.  All series, the Sens just didn't seem like a team willing to sacrifice to get anything. Their downfall was how badly outmatched they were against the Penguins.
 
A team will usually heap praise on their opponent during a series to play head games. Here's a couple quotes from the Sens following the 7-3 Pens win in Game Four:
 
“We're up against a monster here.” – Marc Methot
 
"Probably not," Alfredsson said. "[Pittsburgh's] depth and our play right now … it doesn't look too good." – Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson when asked if the Sens could beat the Penguins three times in a row
 
These weren't head games. These were professional hockey players knowing what they were up against. Here are some quotes from the Sens after the series:
 
"I hope they don't charge us for the clinic." – Sens coach Paul MacLean
 
"Probably not since back in the days when I played the video game." – Erik Karlsson when asked about the last time he's seen a team as dangerous as the Penguins.
 
The Pens are now halfway to the prize, and this next series against the Bruins will be a good one. Before that happens, though, we're gonna take one final look at this series against the Senators.
 

GAME ONE
PENS 4, SENS 1 – OUR RECAP

The Pens showed how much better they were early and often in this opening game. Best thing about the Senators is they weren't the Islanders.

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GAME TWO
PENS 4, SENS 3 — OUR RECAP

Crosby hat trick game. The Pens were up 4-2, the Sens scored a goal in the third, and then Pens closed the door. Game Two was the Sens' best shot. The Pens took the punches and brushed them off.

 

GAME THREE
SENS 2, PENS 1, OT — OUR RECAP

The Penguins owned this game but could only beat Anderson once. The Senators tied the game with 28.6 second left and won it in OT. They had no business being in the game. If the next two games were any indication, this result awoke a sleeping offensive giant.

 

GAME FOUR
PENS 7, SENS 3 — OUR RECAP

Up 3-2 going into the third period, the Penguins exploded for four goals to stun the Senators and their fans. Goals in the third period from Neal, Dupuis, Crosby, and Iginla.

Crosby's goal was nasty, and Dupes' shorthanded goal prompted this:

 

GAME FIVE
PENS 6, SENS 2 — OUR RECAP

After Alfie basically quit, the Pens did what they needed to do. They got up in this game and never looked back. The Senators looked like they gave up after the second period.

 

 

KYLE TURRIS

He had four points in five games. He wasn't a huge factor. but he was still able to get on the scoresheet. Most of the other Sens with better stats, like Jakob Silfverberg, didn't really contribute. Turris did.

DANIEL ALFREDSSON

Despite his comments about "probably not" coming back, Alfredsson was all business on the ice. His game-tying goal in Game Three is why he'll go into the Hall of Fame one day. Still a joy to watch him kill penalties. This may have been his last series in the NHL.

NO THIRD STAR LOL

 

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KRIS LETANG

Kris Letang will drive you insane. Some moments he is brilliant; others he makes you want to sractch your eyes out. But this may be the coming of age of Kris Letang. He has 16 points in these playoffs, and his goal in Game 5 was sick. The good is outweighing the bad.

JAMES NEAL

There was a sequence in Game Three where Neal had three or so shots in OT but didn't convert. That may be the last time he didn't score on a shot. Some pressure was starting to mount on the Iginla-Malkin-Neal line, and all Neal did was close the series with five goals in two games.

TOMAS VOKOUN

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Tomas Vokoun just wins. He wasn't insane in this series, but he was solid. He is the first Penguins goaltender to win four games in a series since 2010.

2010.

Vokoun made the Senators earn everything they put past him. There were a handful of situations where Vokoun made a gigantic save that eventually led to the Pens scoring at the other end as the play continued.

It's getting to the point now where even a bad game in which he is pulled won't necessarily mean he won't be in the net to start the next game.

 

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CRAIG ANDERSON

 
Evgeni Nabokov's stats in round one:
4.44 GAA, .842 SV%
Pulled from the net twice.
 
Craig Anderson's stats in round two:
4.00 GAA, .873 SV%
Pulled from the net twice

He simply had to be better and didn't get the job done. He was gonna be the sole reason the Sens advanced to the Conference Finals. Because they didn't, he is the goat.

 

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SPECIAL TEAMS

Pens PP: 6 for 25 (24%)

Pens PK: 17 for 19 (89%)

CROSBY/MALKIN

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It's easy to take these two for granted. They are both at the top of their game right now, and there's been no indication of either one of them slowing down.

MATT COOKE

Cooke had the spotlight on him all series, especially on the CBC broadcasts. Any time he was on the ice when the Senators scored, CBC cut to a shot of his face as he was skating back to the bench. Those were pretty much the only times Cooke was down in this series. He's playing some of his best hockey since his transformation.

FAREWELL TO OTTAWA FANS

Dear Ottawa fans,

You tried. Keep cheering for Chris Neil, though.

 
 
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