In their overwhelming 7-3 victory, the Pittsburgh Penguins looked every bit the part of the NHL’s best club, and can clinch their first trip to Eastern Conference Finals in four years Friday night.
Game Four of the conference semifinals proved to be a huge letdown for the Ottawa Senators, who are now down 3-1 after letting up four third period goals.
The Penguins can now close out the series in Game Five at home at Consol Energy Center.
Pittsburgh wings James Neal and midseason acquisition Jarome Iginla each scored two goals, and Kris Letang recorded four assists in Game Four, and the Penguins went 2-for-5 on the power play.
Ottawa built a 2-1 lead after a short-handed goal from Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris notched his fifth goal of these playoffs, but the Senators defense and goalkeeper Craig Anderson couldn’t withstand a 6-1 two-period rush from Pittsburgh.
Anderson, who had 49 saves and let up one goal in Game Four, was pulled in the third period after the sixth Pittsburgh goal.
Pascal Dupuis and Sidney Crosby each scored their seventh goal of the post season, and the Penguins are in line to reach their first conference finals since they raised the Stanley Cup in 2009.
The game begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be broadcast by NBC Sports, or watch a live online stream at NBC Live Extra.
Betting Odds: Pittsburgh is favored by 1.5 goals.
Over/Under: 5.5 goals
Prediction: Pittsburgh 3-2