Everything about this knockout was technical. The Penguins, though, were all power and might in their second-round slamming of the Ottawa Senators. They advanced to the Eastern Conference final with a 6-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Friday. Devastating on the power play and possessing dominant scoring depth through two playoff rounds, the Penguins await either the Boston Bruins or New York Rangers for a shot at a Stanley Cup berth. Their Round 2 lasted all of five games, and there is significance to the swiftness of the near sweep. Since the NHL went to best-of-seven series for all postseason rounds in 1987, no club has claimed the Cup without winning at least once in five or fewer games. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was not wrong. This series probably was over after the Penguins slammed the Senators, 7-3, in Game 4 on Wednesday night at Scotiabank Place. The Senators simply had to overcome too much against the top-seeded Penguins. Ottawa's penalty kill, top-ranked during the regular season and imposing at 84.2 percent in a Round 1 victory over second-seeded Montreal, was no match for the Penguins' power play. The Penguins went 6 for 19 (31.6 percent) with the advantage in wins over the Senators, including 1 for 4 in Game 5. The power play through 11 playoff games: 13 for 46 (28.2 percent) — and that is with winger Jarome Iginla, a former scoring champion and MVP and a future Hall-of-Famer, on the second unit. Senators defenseman Marc Methot had referred to the Penguins as “a monster” following Game 4. Fittingly, Michael Keaton, the Coraopolis-born Hollywood star who played “Beetlejuice” and “Batman,” took in Game 5 from Consol Energy Center. The Senators, true to their spunky reputation, did not concede anything after falling behind, 3-0, in the second period. However, as was so often the case in this series, they could not consistently generate chances in the offensive zone, and were reduced to needing power plays and Penguins breakdowns to score. The Senators finished the series with 11 goals. They scored twice each on the power play and shorthanded. The Penguins were dominant when playing the Senators at even strength. Their depth was particularly punishing, too.
Penguins rout Senators 6-2 to advance to Conf. Final
Pittsburgh Tribune Review | May 25