Want to experience desperation?
Try putting yourself in the skates of the Ottawa Senators, coming to Mellon Arena with a 3-1 deficit in a best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, having lost three consecutive games to the Penguins.
“They’re going to be desperate,” Penguins winger Matt Cooke said. “They’re going to give everything they’ve got. I wouldn’t be surprised to see their best game of the series tonight.”
The Senators already played their best game in the first game.
It doesn’t look like they have much left.
If the Senators weren’t desperate before this, they are now. Ottawa coach Cory Clouston announced this morning that the Senators are making a change in goal, replacing Brian Elliott with Pascal Leclaire for Game 5 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
Not that if matters, if you agree with the Ottawa Sun’s Don Brennan, who calls Ottawa a goalie graveyard.
The Penguins, meantime, will replace the injured Tyler Kennedy with Ruslan Fedotenko on the third line.
Let’s compare: This is the first playoff series for Leclaire, who gave up three goals in Game 4, including a short-hander to Max Talbot. Fedotenko is a two-time Stanley Cup champion who scored seven goals and 14 points in the playoffs last year.
Trib beat writer Rob Rossi writes that the Penguins took control and forced a
Senators’ surrender in Game 4.
Ottawa Sun columnist Bruce Garrioch harps on a familiar theme for the Senators: Shut down Sidney Crosby or else.
The Penguins won Game 4 not just because of Crosby’s dominance but in part due to the gritty play of his fellow forwards.
Now, Josh Yohe says the Penguins want to put away the Senators in Game 5 to get valuable rest.
To do so, the Penguins are looking to correct the chinks in their armor, and the biggest change involves stopping taking penalties during penalty kills.
Finally, the Ottawa Sun sports staff asks, do the Sens have a chance?
I think you already know the answer.