NHL playoff odds: Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 5
Thanks to a third-period explosion in Game 4, the Pittsburgh Penguins are now just a win from the Eastern Conference Finals and can book that trip Friday night at home as big WagerWeb.com favorites over visiting Ottawa. Check our current lines.
Jarome Iginla and James Neal each scored twice, Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis added goals, and Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves in the Pens’ 7-3 in on Wednesday. Down 2-1 after the first period, the Penguins scored twice in a 40-second span early in the second and added four goals in the first 10 minutes of the third.
Crosby became the fastest active player to reach 40 career playoff goals. The Penguins star hit the milestone Wednesday night in his 77th postseason game. The only other active players to attain the 40-goal plateau in fewer than 90 playoff games are Jaromir Jagr (86) and Henrik Zetterberg (87). Slowed by a concussion late in the regular season, Neal played in Game 1 against the Islanders in the first round and then missed the next two. He had just one goal heading into Game 4 and looked out of sorts. But on Wednesday night, Neal was the dangerous offensive presence that saw him score 61 times during his last 120 regular-season games.
Defenseman Kris Letang assisted on four of the Penguins’ seven goals in their Game 4 victory. It was only the fifth time in the last 14 years that a defenseman recorded four assists in an NHL playoff game. The other D-men with four-assist games in postseason play since 1999 were Chris Chelios (2002), Nicklas Lidstrom (2007), Matt Carle (2010) and Zdeno Chara (2013 – Boston at Toronto, Game 4). Letang is the third defenseman in Penguins history to notch four assists in a playoff game. Paul Coffey did that twice (1989 and 1991) and Larry Murphy once (1991).
Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa. Senators goalie Craig Anderson was benched after Pittsburgh’s sixth goal, and Robin Lehner finished the game. Anderson allowed four goals 4 where he was too far out of position to make a save (open net). Of the 57 goals Anderson allowed in the regular season and postseason entering Game 4 against the Penguins, only 3 (5.3%) were due to an open net situation. Anderson allowed eight goals on 101 shots in the first three games of the series; he surrendered six on 38 shots Wednesday night.
From their side, I think it’s tough to expect [Anderson] to play that well every single night,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said. “He’s a great goalie, but that’s tough to do against shooters this good in a seven-game series.”
The Senators lost the first two games of this series in Pittsburgh, 4-1 and 4-3.
WagerWeb.com trends: Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Pittsburgh. Over is 13-6 in the last 19 meetings. Senators are 1-6 in the last 7 meetings in Pittsburgh. Senators are 1-6 in the last 7 meetings.