Sports What To Watch For: Senators have Penguins on ropes ahead of Game 4

19:46  19 may  2017
19:46  19 may  2017 Source:   Sportsnet

Kessel lifts Penguins over Senators 1-0

  Kessel lifts Penguins over Senators 1-0 Kessel lifts Penguins over Senators 1-0That gives the teams a 1-1 split heading to Ottawa for the next two games. Game 3 is Wednesday.

Here’s what to watch for in Game 4 %2Fhockey%2Fnhl%2Fwatch- senators - penguins - ropes - ahead - game - 4 %2F.

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The Pittsburgh Penguins were expected to march through the Eastern Conference Final and onto the Stanley Cup Final but a frustrating Ottawa Senators squad has other plans.

A decimated blue line, plus an inability to capitalize on their chances they way they did against the Capitals in the previous round, sees the Penguins in a hole heading into Friday’s contest and looking to avoid going down 3-1.

Here’s what to watch for in Game 4:

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Game 4: 8 p.m. ET on CBC

Can the Penguins get to Anderson?

It’s not a stretch to say the Senators’ defensive style of play is less than appealing from an aesthetic point of view, but it has proven to be quite effective.

Senators still underdogs against Penguins despite Game 1 win

  Senators still underdogs against Penguins despite Game 1 win Fresh off their sixth overtime win of the playoffs, the Ottawa Senators will be looking to take a 2-0 series lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday night as +170 road underdogs on the NHL betting lines at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. Bobby Ryan scored just under five minutes into the extra frame to give Ottawa a 2-1 win as a +171 underdog in Game 1, sealing the team’s third road overtime victory of the post-season ahead of Monday night’s Senators versus Penguins betting matchup at PPG Paints Arena.

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Ottawa Senators ' Jason Spezza (L) skates to the bench past a jubilant Pittsburgh Penguins ' Chris Kunitz (C) and Sidney Crosby as they celebrate a goal during the second period of game four of their NHL Eastern Conference quarter-final hockey game in Ottawa April 20, 2010.

The team is well aware of what people are saying about it too.

Ottawa has managed to limit Pittsburgh’s scoring chances and Craig Anderson has come up large when needed. Anderson has allowed just one goal per game against the Pens and has a .963 save percentage. With one more win he’ll tie Patrick Lalime for the most playoff wins in franchise history.

Pens confident in whoever’s in the crease

The main mystery to emerge from Game 3 was whether we’d see Marc-Andre Fleury or Matt Murray in net going forward. Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan has done his best to remain diplomatic about the situation and, no surprise, has confidence in both players.

Penguins lose two key players early in Game 2

  Penguins lose two key players early in Game 2 PITTSBURGH — The Pittsburgh Penguins, already playing without injured defensemen Kris Letang and Trevor Daley, watched defenseman Justin Schultz leave the game midway through the first period after crashing hard into the boards. He was holding his arm still as he headed to the dressing room. Earlier in the period, Penguins winger Bryan Rust, who plays on Sidney Crosby’s line, went to the dressing room after being crushed by an open-ice hit from Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf. “We obviously have to adjust, hopefully we get these guys back fairly soon," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan told NBC Sports' Pierre McGuire during a between-the-bench interview. "In the meantime, we have to figure it out on the bench.” Their availability for the remainder of the game is unknown. Schultz, who entered the game with eight points, has led the Penguins with an average of 21:10 minutes per game. Rust has five goals in the playoffs. The Senators lead the Eastern Conference final series 1-0. “I like our pace," Sullivan said. "I think we are trying to play fast.

Either way, the Senators won this one convincingly, taking that 2-1 series lead. They can put the Penguins on the brink of elimination with a win in Game 4 on Friday. That contest will air at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can also watch it online and via the NBC Sports App. Click here for the livestream link.

Ottawa Senators Vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 2 Live Stream: Watch The NHL Playoffs. The 2-1 victory allowed the Senators to get ahead of the Penguins The victory also might have been the breakthrough Bobby’s been looking for since adjusting to coach Guy Bucher’s new management style.

Senators lead series 2-1

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“Well I think we have loyalty to our whole group, I don’t think it’s any one particular guy,” Sullivan told reporters Thursday. “This is a team and it’s a team in the true sense of the word. So are we appreciative of the contributions that all of our guys make, Marc included? Yes, absolutely. We wouldn’t be to the point where we’re at without these guys—any of them—so that’s how we look at it. I think we have loyalty to our whole team.”

Will the Sens be able to get the power play going?

Heading into Game 3 the Sens were 0-for-17 with the man advantage in a seven-game stretch. Despite the 5-1 victory, they couldn’t bury one on special teams. They went 0-for-4 Wednesday, which means they’re now 0-for-21 in the past eight games.

Ron and Don: Senators shouldn’t anger Penguins after taking big lead .
Ron and Don: Senators shouldn’t anger Penguins after taking big lead“The game’s in the bag. Don’t get them mad,” he said during a segment of Coach’s Corner on Hockey Night in Canada, explaining the approach he would take if he were at the helm of a team with such a commanding lead early in a playoff game.

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