What a horrible game Ottawa played. I don't even know where to start on this one. Well, to start with, the Penguins beat the Senators 7-4 in this game, outshooting Ottawa 42-30 overall. Pittsburgh got off to a 4-0 lead, at which point Ottawa replaced goalie Brian Elliott (who gave up 4 goals on 19 shots and struggled with the puck all night long) with Pascal Leclaire, who did a phenomenal job, but couldn't stop the Pittsburgh juggernaut on this night. Sidney Crosby led the way for the Penguins with 2 goals and 2 assists while Matt Cullen had a goal and 2 assists for Ottawa, in a game that was marred by a lot of heavy hitting, ill will between the teams, and a Senators squad that let their frustration show in the third period.
The Senators played a completely undisciplined game this night, letting the Penguins force them into plenty of mistakes resulting in at least four of the goals on the night, but this is not to take away from Pittsburgh's effort. The Penguins went out against Ottawa, and stunned them in the early part of the second period, with three goals in the first six and a half minutes, to move up 4-0. While Ottawa recovered and played somewhat better over the course of the rest of the 2nd period, they just couldn't catch the high-flying Penguins on this night. Both Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov were a minus-3 on this night, having no luck stopping Sid the Kid in a game that Ottawa had to win. Jason Spezza was a minus-2, coughing up the puck to the Penguins on those patented and expected back passes he likes so much, and setting up at least a couple of the Penguin goals.
So now, the Senators go back to Pittsburgh for Game 5 on Thursday night, trailing in the series 3 games to 1. It's a must win game for the Senators if they have any hope of coming back in the series, a task that seems daunting at best. Can the Senators win it? I don't think so, not if the last couple of games are any indications. With the 5-4 win over the Penguins in Game 1, Ottawa woke up the reigning Stanley Cup champions. Unless the goaltending seriously improves between now and Thursday night's game, it's going to be a tough game for Ottawa to win. Sad but true.