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Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, left, talks with teammate Evgeni Malkin during the team's practice ahead of Game 5 in their NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference semifinal against the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa, Ontario, on Tuesday, May 21, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Patrick Doyle)
Penguins keep focus on Ottawa
NHL » Hard to ignore Boston looming in potential conference final.
First Published May 23 2013 08:49 am • Last Updated May 29 2013 05:13 pm

Ottawa • Sidney Crosby was careful not to get too far ahead of himself after helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rout the Ottawa Senators for a 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.

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"I’m not talking about anything ahead of Game 5," the Pittsburgh captain said when asked about a potential Eastern Conference final against the Boston Bruins.

But after the Penguins’ 7-3 victory Wednesday night, it’s hard to imagine Crosby and his teammates aren’t starting to think about facing the Bruins — up 3-0 over the New York Rangers.

Jarome Iginla and James Neal each scored twice, Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis added goals, and Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves. 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 in the third.

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.


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"There was a sense like, ‘OK, this might take as many shots as we can muster to break this guy.’ And fortunately, we kept on that mindset," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "It was a matter of, ‘We are going to have to fire anything and everything we can at this guy to get one by him.’"

Game 5 is Friday night in Pittsburgh.

"I know what we’re going to do," Alfredsson said. "We’re going to go out and play one hell of a game. That doesn’t worry me at all. We never quit and that’s not going to stop now. We know the odds are against us in every way, but we never quit and that’s going to continue."

Senators coach Paul MacLean didn’t take a single question after the game. Instead, he held up the scoresheet and said: "I think everything’s right here. It’s 7-3. See you in Pittsburgh. We’re going to Pittsburgh and we’re coming to play. Have a good night."

The Senators, coming off a double-overtime victory Sunday night in Game 3, opened the scoring on Michalek’s short-handed goal at 2:29 of the first period. With defenseman Sergei Gonchar in the penalty box, Alfredsson fed the puck up the middle to a streaking Michalek, who broke through the defense and beat Vokoun low on the glove side for Ottawa’s second short-handed goal of the series.

It was the Senators’ first lead of the series. It wouldn’t last.

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