MORNING STANLEY CUP OF JOE – MAY 23, 2013
PITTSBURGH 7, OTTAWA 3; PIT leads 3-1
Trailing 2-1 after 20 minutes, the Penguins scored six consecutive goals, including two in a 40 second span of the second period and three in a 1:45 stretch of the third, to push the Senators to the brink of elimination.
SCORING IN BUNCHES
Five Penguins had multi-point performances: Kris Letang (0-4—4), James Neal (2-1—3), Jarome Iginla (2 0—2), Sidney Crosby (1 1—2) and Pascal Dupuis (1 1—2). Nine Penguins recorded at least one point.
The Penguins lead the NHL with an average of 4.10 goals per game in the playoffs. They have scored four or more goals in eight of their 10 postseason games this year, and 11 of their last 16 playoff contests over the last two years.
The Penguins scored two goals in less than one minute twice during Game 4: Chris Kunitz and Jarome Iginla tallied 40 seconds apart in the second period, and Pascal Dupuis and Sidney Crosby scored 31 seconds apart in the third. The last time Pittsburgh accomplished that feat in a playoff game was on May 23, 2009, when they did so in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Final at Carolina. (Elias)
CHANGE OF PACE
The Penguins outscored the Senators, 4-1, in the third period of Game 4. Entering Wednesday, Pittsburgh had been outscored, 9 4, in third periods this postseason, while Ottawa had outscored its opponents, 14-1, in the final 20 minutes of regulation.
THE KID CAN
Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby scored a dazzling goal to pick up the 40th tally of his playoff career in his 77th postseason game. Crosby is the fastest active player to reach the 40-goal milestone. The only active players to score 40 goals in fewer than 90 playoff games are Boston’s Jaromir Jagr (86) and Detroit’s Henrik Zetterberg (87). (Elias)
Pittsburgh defenseman Kris Letang became the second player to record four assists in a game this postseason (Boston defenseman Zdeno Chara did so in Game 4 of the ECQ vs. Toronto). Only three other blueliners have collected four assists in a playoff game over the last 14 years: Chris Chelios (2002), Nicklas Lidstrom (2007) and Matt Carle (2010). Letang is the third defenseman in Penguins history to post four helpers in a postseason game, joining Paul Coffey (1989 and 1991) and Larry Murphy (1991). (Elias)
Letang leads all defensemen with 13 points in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs. He’s also tied for first among all skaters with 11 assists.
Since Dan Bylsma took over as head coach on Feb. 15, 2009, the Penguins have won a League-high 111 of their 190 road games (regular season and playoffs), nine more than second-place Vancouver. Pittsburgh also has won an NHL-best 17 road playoff games in that span (17-13).
Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson recorded 1 1—2 to pick up his 100th postseason point in his 120th career playoff game (51 49—100). Alfredsson is the second player in this series to collect his 100th career postseason point; Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby achieved that feat in Game 2. Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (35 60—95) is five points shy of 100 for his playoff career.
Ottawa forward Milan Michalek scored a shorthanded goal 2:29 into Game 4, marking the third time in Senators franchise history (regular season and playoffs) that the team has recorded shorthanded goals in consecutive games. The only other time the team has done so in the playoffs was during the 2003 Eastern Conference Semifinals, when Peter Schaefer and Mike Fisher netted shorthanded goals in Games 5 and 6, respectively, against Philadelphia. (Elias)
The Senators lead the NHL with three shorthanded goals this postseason (scored by Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris).
MORE SPECIAL TEAMS
Three of Pittsburgh’s seven goals came via special teams (two on the power play, one shorthanded). The Penguins lead the NHL in power-play efficiency this postseason (28.6%), while they rank second in shorthanded goals (2, both of which have been scored by Pascal Dupuis).
The Penguins chased an opposing goaltender for the fourth time this postseason and second time this series (Games 1 and 5 vs. NY Islanders, Games 2 and 4 vs. Ottawa).
DID YOU KNOW?
The Penguins improved to 5-1 in their last six playoff games following an overtime loss. Their lone blemish was last year in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals versus Philadelphia.
The Penguins improved to 8-2 in their last 10 Game 4s overall and 6-2 in their last eight Game 4s on the road . . . Pittsburgh goaltender Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves and is 5-1 with a 1.82 goals-against average, .942 save percentage and one shutout since taking over the starting job . . . Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson had to hop back to the bench after losing a skate blade.
SNEAK PEEK AT THURSDAY’S ACTION
All Times Eastern
Boston @ NY Rangers, Game 4, BOS leads 3-0, 7:00 p.m., CNBC, TSN, RDS
Chicago @ Detroit, Game 4, DET leads 2-1, 8:00 p.m., NBCSN, CBC, RDS2
San Jose @ Los Angeles, Game 5, series tied 2-2, 10:30 p.m., NBCSN, TSN, RDS
Source: NHL Media2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs News And Notes by Sports Talk Florida