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Senators spurt past Penguins, lead series

20 May 2017, 12:04 | Andy Ferguson

Senators spurt past Penguins, lead series

Senators spurt past Penguins, lead series

The NHL is full of rising stars in net.

Let's look back at last year's playoff run.

They have limited the Pittsburgh Penguins to two goals. He's technically adept but nothing world-changing.

Not all the news was good, the Senators finished the game without winger Alex Burrows.

The Senators haven't done anything particularly earth-shattering during the postseason.

"They're competitors. I understand". This against the NHL's highest-scoring offense from the regular season. And contrary to Sullivan's suggestion, Ottawa has actually had the slight edge in puck possession and scoring chances according to publicly available data. You certainly take that for what it's worth, and you move on because Game 4 is not going to be that.

For one of the playoff's oldest talents, that's an impressive metric. We make it hard for you to come through. The Senators clung to their lead, skating away with a 5-1 victory and an unexpected 2-1 series lead.

Fair questions. Over the first seven games of the playoffs, the Penguins averaged 4.29 goals a game.

Game 1: 28 shots against, 27 saves. He wasn't tested a whole lot, however, he made a couple of good glove saves off Kessel and Carter Rowney in the second.

Game 2 was quite uneventful. His performance should have resulted in a victory.

Through three games of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Penguins have only mustered three goals past Sens' goaltender Craig Anderson.

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Malkin leads the National Hockey League in playoff scoring (20 points), with Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby tied for fourth with 15 points each.

Of course, there's an intangible element to how well Anderson has played that can not be ignored, one that surpasses any nitpicking of his high-danger saves or wrap-around stops.

"He's seen real life pressure".

A day after his team was thrashed 5-1 in Game 3, Sullivan seemed intent on trying to build confidence and lighten the mood around a team chasing a second straight Stanley Cup. "You have to learn from it".

Something is driving him. One game doesn't tell the tale of his post-season.

The tide has turned and the momentum has taken a seismic shift in the direction of the Ottawa Senators. In a grueling six-game series, he held on against an uncharacteristically poor King to advance to yet another round.

Murray was supposed to be the team's postseason starter, but Fleury was thrown into the crease when Murray was injured in warmups before Game 1 of the Penguins' first round series.

Some of the older teams from the Original Six era like the 1952 Red Wings and 1967 Toronto Maple Leafs - that franchise's most recent Stanley Cup victor - fell victim to younger voters skewing toward more-recent teams. It's a somewhat similar situation to last season, when Murray suffered a concussion in the Penguins' regular season finale and sat out the team's first two playoff games before taking over for Fleury and helping lead Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup. All three missed Game 3 and their status for tonight's contest remains uncertain.

The Sens were quick to disprove critics of the boring, bend-but-do not break trap system they have deployed to slow the Penguins with a goal 48 seconds into the game and three more in a span of 2:18 later in the first period after Mike Hoffman got the party started.

"Well the goalie pick doesn't matter if the Penguins can't score!"

Though Fleury struggled in Wednesday's 5-1 loss, he did pitch a 23-save shutout in a 1-0 Game 2 win along with 29-save shutout in Game 7 of a second round series against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Washington Capitals.



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