Gameday Conference Semifinals #5: v. Ottawa Senators

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PITTSBURGH PENGUINS v. Ottawa Senators

Consol Energy Center, 7:30 PM, NBC Sports, CBC, RDS, 105.9 the X

The Penguins have the ability to end this series tonight. They have the opportunity to be the first team into the Conference Finals. They have the opportunity to win their first series at home since 2008. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy. The Senators will come to play today and they will be fighting for the future of so many of their franchise cornerstones. We joked about Daniel Alfredsson, Sergei Gonchar, and Chris Phillips carpooling to file their retirement papers, but it really could be true. Alfredsson and Gonch are both without contracts for next season, and especially in Gonch’s case, the money he could receive in Russia could be significantly more than he could expect to see in the NHL. So in other words, it’s up to those guys to make this series what they want of it.

No idea if the Pens are planning any lineup changes. The only one we could reasonably foresee would be Brenden Morrow returning and Beau Bennett coming out of the lineup. In the morning skate Morrow did participate, but he only skated with the “fifth line” of black aces.

And now for the news stories of the day: if you are going to the game bring a little cash. The Penguins and the Penguins Foundation will be teaming up with the American Red Cross to help raise money for victims of the tornado in Oklahoma. They will be collecting donations at the entrances from 6:00 PM until the start of the game. Check the official announcement here.

If you want to go to the game but you don’t have a ticket you can now enjoy an even bigger TV in the Civic Arena Parking Lot. We would have to assume this is not a cheap investment but the Penguins along with the Trib have sprung for a new 27’ x 15’ screen, which is actually way bigger than the previous 16’ x 9’. So party down.

Just before Game 4 Sean Conboy published this wonderfully honest and abrupt piece on how the Penguins should really try to play in the playoffs. Which is to say they should try to outscore their opponnents. Then on Wednesday they decided to do just that. Read it for some good times.

We can only hope that the Pens will continue to follow that. It is amazing how much more comfortable it is to watch the Penguins in 6-4 games than it is to watch them in 3-2 games. With a Bruins loss yesterday and the Kings and Sharks looking poised to go the distance, the Pens are in line for a decent rest if they finish it out tonight.

The race to one starts tonight. Don’t stupid. Go Pens.

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