The Ottawa Senators were hoping to get one more game from the Pittsburgh Penguins before having to go back on the road but the Penguins had other ideas about things. After falling behind 2-1 in the game the Penguins stomped on the Senators in Game 4, racing to a 7-3 win and a series defining 3-1 lead heading back home.
Had the Senators been able to pull off the win, they would have officially put a kink in the Pens plans to make a run at a Stanley Cup. But because they’ve now fallen behind and forced to the brink in the worst possible way. They showed no fight in the third period and the Penguins jumped all over them by scoring four goals in the final period of the game to bury Ottawa.
Now the series heads back to Pittsburgh and if the end of Game 4 was any indication of how things will go, they might as well just cancel the thing as Ottawa checked out pretty early in a very meaningful game they needed to win.
But don’t sleep on Ottawa. They’re on the brink of elimination but they aren’t going to want to go out the way they ended Game 4. Even down 7-2 in the third period of Game 4, the Senators showed flashes of fight by scoring a late, albeit meaningless goal.
On the other hand, the Penguins looked more ferocious in the third period of Game 4 than they’ve looked all postseason long. If they can continue that for just one more period against the Senators, there’s no way Ottawa will be able to correct their inability to rally late and the series could end up being over before the final horn of Game 5.
Time will tell, but the Senators are backed up against a cliff and are in serious danger of falling off — if they haven’t already. As for the Penguins, if they continue to play the way they did late in Game 4, they might finally be the team we’ve been waiting to see all postseason long.