Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 05/23/13 at 04:45 PM ET
By Matthew Feuerman of TiqIQ,
Has the Senators’ luck run out, or did they simply run into an unstoppable force they couldn’t overpower with grit, hustle and focus, similar to how they dismantled the higher-seeded Montreal Canadiens earlier this month?
The Sens have been in it in two games this series, but they’ve also been blown out in the other two. It seems that if Ottawa doesn’t muster a 120 percent effort each night, they don’t stand a chance of beating the talented Penguins, whereas other teams may get away with 85 percent against Pittsburgh.
The Sens have scored goals these playoffs, but without playing extra stingy D game in and game out, they won’t beat the Penguins, who, like they showed Wednesday night, can put seven on the scoreboard in no time.
In Game Five, Ottawa will fight for its playoff life in Pittsburgh Friday night at the Consol Energy Center. According to TiqIQ, the average price for Penguins vs Senators tickets to game 5 costs $404, a rate that’s down 27 percent this week. Some tickets are available for as low as $111.
Will Pittsburgh let up? It doesn’t appear that a team with five players scoring in double figures this playoffs has any intentions of doing so. Pittsburgh has its stars (the Crosbys, Iginlas, Neals and Malkins of the world), but the team has also received unexpected and clutch contributions from players like defensenman Paul Martin and center Pascal Dupuis, the latter of whom is tied for the team lead in goals scored.
Then comes the play of netminder Tomas Vokoun, who played second fiddle to start Marc-Andre Fleury this season. Not today. Vokoun has been a standout between the pipes for the Penguins this postseason. His Goals Against Average is third among goalies with at least three starts and his save percentage is second. He may be the biggest postseason surprise in the entire league.
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