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Conference Final

Mark Borowiecki, Alexandre Burrows could return for Senators in Game 5

Ottawa may have full complement of players available against Penguins for first time

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Defenseman Mark Borowiecki and forward Alexandre Burrows could return to the Ottawa Senators lineup for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG Paints Arena on Sunday (3 p.m. ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

The best-of-7 series is tied 2-2 after the Penguins' 3-2 win in Game 4 on Friday.


[RELATED: Senators can't make power play pay off | Complete Penguins-Senators series coverage]


Borowiecki sustained a lower-body injury in Game 2 of the first round against the Boston Bruins. He led the NHL in hits this season with 364 while playing on the Senators' third defense pair.

Burrows was injured in Game 3 against the Penguins when he got tangled up with Pittsburgh defenseman Ian Cole. He left the ice favoring his left leg.

"I don't know [about Borowiecki], I've got to ask [the medical staff]," coach Guy Boucher said before the Senators flew to Pittsburgh on Saturday. "Burrows, I know was getting on the ice [Saturday] so I'm waiting to see what's going to happen with that.

"They both could be in."

Video: BOS@OTT, Gm2: Borowiecki exits early with injury

The prospects of having a full complement of players available for Game 5 put Boucher in an optimistic mood.

"It's 2-2 in the Stanley Cup conference final," he said. "Let's go back to September and say that's where we were going to be. My goodness, we jump on that. That's why it's such a great day today."

Defenseman Dion Phaneuf shared Boucher's appreciation for where the Senators find themselves despite the lingering feeling of having missed an opportunity in Game 4.

"We're at where we're at, 2-2," Phaneuf said. "The way you look at the series is [what] we expected it to be; a tough, long series as we expected [with] the other series we've played in. Would we have liked to had a better outcome [Friday]? For sure. But we're at where we're at and now we get on a plane, go down to Pittsburgh and have a better game there. That's where our focus is at."

When teams are tied 2-2 in a best-of-7 series during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the winner of Game 5 entered Saturday holding an all-time series record of 198-54, including 5-0 this postseason.

Ottawa and Pittsburgh have alternated victories in the series. The Senators are hoping that trend holds.

Video: OTT@BOS: Burrows beats Rask with heavy blast

The Senators won Game 1 at Pittsburgh, 2-1 in overtime.

"It's good for our team that we were able to get a win [at Pittsburgh]," forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau said. "We're going there with our heads up. We know what we have to do to get the win and we'll try to do it.

"We know we can do a good job. We beat them in their barn. We know it's not an easy task so we have to be able to play with urgency right away. When we do, we really put the chance on our side to make a good push and maybe get a win."

Phaneuf said he expected the animosity between the two teams to continue to grow in Game 5. Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin pointed at Phaneuf after a shot by Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin deflected in off Phaneuf's skate for what turned out to be the winning goal in Game 4.

"It didn't take long in this series to seem to have the emotion level a little bit higher than in our previous two series," Phaneuf said. "I don't know. I didn't watch a ton of theirs. I feel the animosity level is getting a little bit higher.

"It just comes down to competing. You're playing the same guys over and over. Every series, you're going to ask guys, they are probably going to give you a similar answer. It just comes down to playing the same competition over and over. It's a competitive game. It's an emotional game and you can see that there's physicality on both sides. We're in a good series."

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