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Penguins vs Senators

Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 7:47 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Morrow in Penguins lineup, scores opening goal

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brenden Morrow must have some power of persuasion.

Morrow, who missed Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury, and took line rushes with the extra forwards at the morning skate Friday, found his way back into the lineup for Game 5.

He scored the first goal of the game 6:25 into the first period.

Morrow said Friday morning he felt better and it would be a game-time decision whether he played.

He replaced forward Beau Bennett, who played in Game 4. To start the game, Morrow was on Pittsburgh's fourth line with Jussi Jokinen and Craig Adams.

Here is what the Penguins lineup looked like for Game 5:

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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 2:49 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Senators not focused on Alfredsson's future

PITTSBURGH -- If the Ottawa Senators are at all worried about the possibility of Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Friday being the final game of their captain's career, they aren't talking as if they are.

"Well, if it is, we'll make it a fun one," defenseman Erik Karlsson said with a smile about Daniel Alfredsson.

"He was dangling me in 'keep away' all morning," defenseman Marc Methot said, referring to the common morning-skate drill. "So if you ask me, he's got a couple years left under his belt."

The Senators kept a loose, upbeat posture throughout the morning skate and after it Friday, but a loss in Game 5 (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS) would have serious ramifications. Not only would it eliminate Ottawa from the Stanley Cup Playoffs and end its season, it could end the career of the franchise's longtime captain.

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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 1:56 PM

By Chris Adamski -  NHL.com Correspondent /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Senators set to unite Spezza, Alfredsson, Michalek

PITTSBURGH -- If the Ottawa Senators are going down, they're going down with their most talented and experienced forwards skating together to start a game in which they're facing elimination.

Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek have combined for 2,338 regular-season NHL games and 2,084 points. The trio was united for line rushes during the morning skate in advance of Friday's Game 5 against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

With Ottawa down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series, coach Paul MacLean said he'd have his tenured trio out on the ice for the opening faceoff in an attempt to steer momentum the Senators' way.

"That's a line we can always go back to," MacLean said. "Obviously they're a veteran threesome that's played a number of games in the League. We've always felt we could go to that, just because they're veteran players. The start of the game hasn't been very good for us these first four games; maybe if we start veterans out on the ice at the beginning of the game it can have a calming effect on the rest of the group."

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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 1:21 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins shrug off Alfredsson's remarks

PITTSBURGH -- Not surprisingly, the comments made by Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson in the aftermath of Game 4 were still a primary topic of discussion 36 hours later on the morning of Game 5.

After absorbing a 7-3 shellacking in Game 4 Wednesday, on home ice, no less, Alfredsson was asked if he could see his team winning three straight games to wriggle free of the elimination situation they now face for the duration of this best-of-7 series, starting Friday at Consol Energy Center (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

His answer sent shockwaves across the province of Ontario and many other hockey-mad communities across North America.

"Probably not," Alfredsson said in the Ottawa dressing room Wednesday night. "I mean, with their depth and power play right now, you know, it doesn't look too good."

Many saw that statement as a concession speech of sorts from the Ottawa leader. Others saw it as a motivational ploy. Alfredsson has since tried to clarify his comment but has not backed off it.

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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 1:11 PM

By Shawn P. Roarke -  NHL.com Senior Managing Editor /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins likely to stick with same lineup in Game 5

PITTSBURGH -- It does not appear Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma is going to mess with a good thing.

Judging from line rushes during the morning skate Friday in preparation for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Ottawa Senators (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS), it appears the Penguins will ice the same lineup that dominated the final 40 minutes of Game 4 Wednesday in Ottawa.

The biggest questions revolved around forward Brenden Morrow, who missed Game 4 with an undisclosed injury, and forward Chris Kunitz, who barely played in the third period of Game 4.

They were on the ice Friday morning at Consol Energy Center. Kunitz took a regular turn on his normal line with Sidney Crosby and Pascal Dupuis. Morrow was relegated to the collection of extra forwards during the line rushes.

Morrow said he felt good during the skate and that his participation in Game 5 would be a game-time decision, but it appears Bylsma will stay with veteran Jussi Jokinen and rookie Beau Bennett, each of whom joined Craig Adams on a reconstituted fourth line.

Here is how the Penguins lined up at the morning skate:

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Posted On Friday, 05.24.2013 / 11:42 AM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Morrow possibility for Penguins for Game 5

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brenden Morrow, who sat out Game 4 of the team's Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Ottawa Senators with an undisclosed injury, skated with the team Friday and said he would be a game-time decision for Game 5 Friday night (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Morrow has a goal and two assists in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 11:05 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Senators learned how to come back with Binghamton

OTTAWA -- When a team faces a 3-1 series deficit in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the way the Ottawa Senators do in their Eastern Conference Semifinal against the Pittsburgh Penguins, the first step to overcoming it is a belief it can be done.

As the Senators prepare to embark on that monumental challenge when they play Game 5 at Pittsburgh on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, RDS), they do so loaded with players who have that belief firmly lodged in their minds because they’ve done it before.

In the first round of the 2011 American Hockey League playoffs, the Binghamton Senators fell behind 3-1 in a best-of-7 against the Manchester Monarchs. But Binghamton won Game 5 in overtime, Game 6 in double overtime, and Game 7 in overtime to win the series.

The Baby Sens went on to win the Atlantic Division Finals in six games, the Eastern Conference Finals in a sweep, and the Calder Cup final in six games.

There are 12 members of the Senators organization in these Stanley Cup Playoffs who were members of the 2010-11 Binghamton Senators.

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Posted On Thursday, 05.23.2013 / 10:41 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Alfredsson stands behind postgame comments

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson did not back down Thursday from what he said following his team's 7-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Wednesday, but he did feel his sentiments were taken somewhat out of context.

Following the loss that put the Senators in a 3-1 series hole heading into Game 5 in Pittsburgh on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS), Alfredsson was asked if it was feasible to beat the Penguins three times in a row.

"Probably not," Alfredsson responded. "I mean, with their depth and power play right now, you know, it doesn't look too good.”

Alfredsson later spoke about how the Senators have had a never-quit attitude all season and that maybe they will thrive on the steep odds they were facing in the series, saying "maybe that's the way we like it."

He said Thursday he felt the second part of his comments were overshadowed by the first part, but he stuck to his belief that the Senators have a difficult road ahead.

"There's no denying we're in tough," Alfredsson said. "Was it taken out of context? Probably, but that's fine. I can handle that. We're down 3-1 to a very good team and going back to their building. We're just going to go in there and give them a hell of a game. We've always responded really well when our backs are against the wall and this is no different. The good thing is we're still in the playoffs, it's not over. So we're going to go in there and give them everything we have."

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 10:26 PM

By NHL.com Staff -  /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Pirates to wear Penguins jerseys on road trip

The Pittsburgh Pirates will be wearing a different kind of black and gold when they travel to Milwaukee and Detroit this weekend -- they'll don Pittsburgh Penguins jerseys to show their support.

"There's a large contingency that have their fingers on the pulse of Penguins hockey," Pirates manager Clint Hurdle told MLB.com. "And they pull the other ones in regardless of whether they want to be pulled in or not."

Hurdle got his own custom Penguins jersey, with his No. 13 and name on the back, delivered to his office at PNC Park on Wednesday afternoon.

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Posted On Wednesday, 05.22.2013 / 2:19 PM

By Arpon Basu -  Managing Editor LNH.com /NHL.com - Penguins-Senators series blog

Penguins likely to go to Jokinen for faceoff, PP ability

OTTAWA -- It would appear Jussi Jokinen will be back in the lineup for the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 4 of their Eastern Conference Semifinal series against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC, RDS).

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma does not confirm his lineup decisions, but he did at least speak in hypothetical terms Wednesday morning about what Jokinen would bring to his lineup if he dressed.

"Jussi is a guy who's been out of our lineup and you're sitting on a guy who can make plays, score big goals, he's a faceoff guy," Bylsma said. "He's also a guy who would see time on our second power-play unit as well."

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Quote of the Day

I downplayed the first one because I thought it's just a hockey game. We just want to win the game; it's against our rival and we want the two points. I downplayed it, but now having gone through the first one I look back and say, 'Geez, that was really cool.' I think as I've grown a bit older I've got a lot more appreciation for what we're allowed to do every day.

— Capitals forward Brooks Laich on the 2015 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, the second one of his career after 2011 in Pittsburgh