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Category: Ottawa-Senators

The Pittsburgh Penguins Are Back In Their Series With The Ottawa Senators

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

If the demise of the defending Stanley Cup champions has been greatly exaggerated, the Ottawa Senators have themselves to blame.

They let them off the mat on Friday night, making this Eastern Conference final a toss-up.

Just when it seemed the Pittsburgh Penguins might have been running out of gas, playing their 204th game since the start of last season, they guaranteed Friday night there will at least be a 206th.

“You can’t expect to come in here and play an average game and go up 3-1 in the series against Pittsburgh. It’s just not going to happen,” Clarke MacArthur said. “We had to have our best game and we fell short of that.”

Instead, the Senators poked a sleeping giant in Pittsburgh’s two-headed monster.

continued

Watch the game highlights below...

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Open Post- Game 4 Eastern Conference Final

A win tonight puts the Ottawa Senators one win away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final.

The Pittsburgh Penguins will bring everything they have to even up the series.

Someone has to win, who will it be?

Pittsburgh @ Ottawa, OTT leads 2-1, 8 p.m., CBC, TVAS, NBCSN

The comment section is yours.

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Coach Mike Sullivan Decides On Goaltender Matt Murray For Tonight’s Game

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Any notion that Marc-Andre Fleury will be a Pittsburgh Penguin in 2017-18 just became even more farfetched.

The defending champions will start Matt Murray in Game 4, head coach Mike Sullivan announced, indirectly crowning the younger, cheaper netminder their goaltender of the present and the future.

“It’s a good difficult decision to have, because we have two guys who are as capable as they are,” Sullivan said. “We never take these decisions lightly. They’re extremely difficult decisions.

“We try to make the best decisions that we think give our team the best chance to win.”

The coach declined to explain why he chose Fleury over Murray.

continued

Below, watch coach Sullivan after today's morning skate...

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The Ottawa Senators Appear To Be A Team Of Destiny

from Frank Seravalli of TSN,

The Senators are now two wins away from the Stanley Cup final and looking more like a team of destiny with each roaring moment. 

For a team that has been knocked at every turn and written off before this series even began, there shouldn’t be a shadow of a doubt now that Ottawa is a team capable of carrying Lord Stanley home. 

“You hear it a little bit. Nowadays, it’s impossible to be oblivious to what’s being said and what’s going on,” Mike Hoffman said. “It’s just our system. If people don’t respect it, that’s their own opinion. If we played a run-and-gun game that maybe people would rather watch, then we probably wouldn’t be here.”

Determined to take a more aggressive approach in Game 3, Ottawa victimized the Pittsburgh’s battered defence corps from puck drop, chasing Marc-Andre Fleury with four goals in the first 13 minutes en route to a 5-1 thrashing at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Senators are 10-1 all-time when leading a best-of-seven series by a 2-1 margin, including each of their first two round wins in these Stanley Cup playoffs.

“We were just alive,” Boucher said. “Our fans love the way we play and they love the enthusiasm our players are displaying.”

In the rout, the Senators not only earned a 2-1 series edge, but created a crease conundrum for the Penguins.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins Are Now Down 2-1 To The Ottawa Senators

from Jonathan Bombulie of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

The final chapters still need to be written, of course, but Wednesday night, for the Penguins, the genre shifted from fairy tale to horror story.

Marc-Andre Fleury gave up four goals and was pulled before the game was 13 minutes old, the team's defensive structure crumbled to pieces and the Ottawa Senators cruised to a 5-1 victory in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final.

The Senators lead the series 2-1 with Game 4 set for Friday night in Ottawa.

"We should be a little bit embarrassed, the way we came out and the way we started this game," winger Chris Kunitz said. "We need to come in with more urgency and more jump every single time we step on the ice. Nothing's going to be handed to you or given to you. Nothing's going to be easy."...

Immediately following the game, coach Mike Sullivan said he hadn't yet considered who he would start in Game 4.

With Kris Letang done for the season and Justin Schultz now out with an upper-body injury, the Penguins came into Wednesday's game without their top two puck-moving defensemen. The remaining defense corps had its roughest night of the postseason.

"We've dealt with it all year long. Are we worried about it? Not really. We don't have a choice," Sullivan said of his personnel situation on defense. "That's just the reality of the circumstance, and it's nothing this team isn't accustomed to. We've been dealing with this all year long. Kris Letang played 40 games for us this year. We had to find ways to win without Tanger for half the season."

more

Game highlights are below...

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Videos- if You Missed The First 13 Minutes Of Sens/Pens

Senators lead 4-0 after one period.

All four goals...

 

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Open Post- Game 3 Of The Eastern Conference Final

Making this one quick, Ottawa wins tonight.

Pittsburgh @ Ottawa, series tied 1-1, 8 p.m., CBC, TVAS, NBCSN

The comment section is yours.

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Despite Injuries To The Pittsburgh Penguins, They Continue To Play On

from Luke Fox of Sportsnet,

Sidney Crosby had a conversation this morning at a University of Ottawa ice pad with the latest candidate to quarterback the best power play left standing in these unpredictable, injury-riddled playoffs: Mark Streit, who has been warming the Penguins’ bench for 38 days.

Streit is the savvy 39-year-old puck mover GM Jim Rutherford scooped at the trade deadline from bitter intrastate rival Philadelphia, with a primary assist from Steve Yzerman.

He has more than 800 games of experience when you count his 31 post-season appearances, and was brought in for his depth. But who knew the defending champs would have to reach this deep to patch up a blue line that is in shambles?

“He hasn’t actually played, so I was giving him an idea what we’re looking for and kinda seeing what he sees out there too,” Crosby said of his conversation with Streit, who point-manned the first power-play unit at practice.

The Penguins enter Game 3 without Bryan Rust, Patric Hornqvist, and, most importantly, defenceman Justin Schultz (all three skated and are day-to-day with upper-body injuries).

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A Hockey Play?

from Rob Rossi at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,

Sadly, a hockey play is also what Dion Phaneuf's open-ice walloping of Bryan Rust must be considered. It was "clean" in that it was within the rules that are drawn up by league general managers.

The NHL will be better — or, at the very least, closer in resemblance to hockey as it should be played — when its rulebook is drafted by a group of former skilled players, a group to which GMs rarely have belonged. Also, the NHL will be better — or, at the very least, not laughable — when its on- and off-ice officials begin taking seriously the issue of head safety.

The NHL does not.

Instead, at all levels associated with the NHL, there continues to be disgusting victim shaming ("Rust was skating with his head down" was a common comment during Game 2) along with shameful attempts to brainwash the general public into believing that all is well.

Players' heads may no longer be hunted, but they're certainly not protected. So, nope, all is not well.

Which is no way a suggestion that all is wrong. There remains a lot to like about the hockey being staged into May in the National Hockey League.

But it's not good enough to pass off the hits this postseason that have taken out Crosby and Rust as "hockey plays." And that's entirely because those plays need not have a place in hockey.

The problem with the NHL is it hasn't figured out that the Stanley Cup playoffs are always best when "hockey" is actually being played.

more

If you missed the hit on Rust, watch it below and still no update on Rust who did not return to the game.

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Phil Kessel Does What He Does

from Dan Rosen of NHL.com,

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Chris Kunitz insisted he couldn't remember what right wing Phil Kessel was yelling about on the bench in the second period. But Kunitz was sitting right next to Kessel. He even laughed as he squirted water into his mouth.

How could he not remember when it apparently was pretty funny?

"I don't pay attention that much," Kunitz said, smiling.

Why not?

"Phil is always yelling," he said, laughing.

Kessel certainly was during Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Final at PPG Paints Arena on Monday. He was also the only one who did any scoring.

Kessel's goal, his sixth of the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, second in the past seven games, with 6:55 remaining in the third period stood up as the difference in a 1-0 win against the Ottawa Senators.

"We could have had a couple more, but he's a good goalie," Kessel said of Ottawa's Craig Anderson, who made 28 saves. "Got to find a way to score on him, and fortunately got one."

continued, includes numerous videos from last night...

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  Tags: phil+kessel

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

 

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