PREVIEW: Penguins look for elusive ‘fourth win’ at home tonight

The Pittsburgh Penguins have the opportunity to be halfway into their goal of winning a Stanley Cup as they look to do something they haven’t been able to do since 2008 – close out a playoff series on home ice. It could be the first time the Penguins close out a playoff series at the CONSOL Energy Center, as-well-as the first series clincher at home under Head Coach Dan Bylsma. However, they’re going to need to beat a desperate Ottawa Senators team in Game Five and it’s always the hardest to get the fourth win in a series.

The last time the Penguins won a series at home, they did so at Mellon Arena, winning 6-0 on May 18th, 2008 against the Philadelphia Flyers in the Eastern Conference Finals. The Penguins look to avoid a Game Six in Ottawa, and would love to get the chance to rest and prepare for what could be their next series against either the Boston Bruins or the New York Rangers.

The Senators look to stave off elimination for the first time in this post season. Ottawa was routed in a disappointing 7-3 shellacking at the hands of the Penguins in on Wednesday night. Sens captain Daniel Alfredsson spoke candidly after Game Four about his belief as to whether or not the Sens had a chance to win three-straight games in the series, saying “probably not.” Tonight’s game could be the last time Alfredsson dons a Senators jersey.

“We’re coming home with an opportunity. I think our team knows exactly how important this opportunity is to get the fourth win… We have one game right in front of us and it’s important to have that mentality and mindset for us tonight.”

-Dan Bylsma

SEASON SERIES

GAME 5: RECAP
GAME 14: RECAP
GAME 45: RECAPTHOUGHTS

PLAYOFFS

GAME ONE: RECAPTHOUGHTS
GAME TWO: RECAPTHOUGHTS
GAME THREE: RECAP | THOUGHTS
GAME FOUR: RECAP | THOUGHTS

Notes and Numbers

Dan Bylsma’s Penguins are 0-6 at home in potential series-clinching games.

Pittsburgh has chased the oppositions goaltender four times in its ten playoff games this season.

The Penguins are 11-3 in their last 14 playoff games against the Senators.

James Neal’s two goals in Game Four was his first goals in six games. Neal has recorded 6 points in 8 postseason games.

Pittsburgh has scored 41 goals in 10 playoff games this season.

Pittsburgh has five different players scoring at a Point-Per-Game pace (Crosby, Malkin, Letang, Iginla and Dupuis.

Craig Anderson has given up 14 goals on 129 shots in his last four starts.

Tomas Vokoun has allowed nine goals on 139 shots in his four starts this series.

Chris Kunitz and Paul Martin have nine points each in ten games.

Mark Stone did not make the trip to Pittsburgh as he was injured in Game Four.

Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek skated on a line in the morning skate. Between the three of them, they have combined for 2,338 regular-season NHL games and 2,084 points.

PROJECTED SENATORS LINEUPS

Michalek-Spezza-Alfredsson
Greening-Turris-Condra
Smith-Zibanejad-Silfverberg
Kassian-Pageau-Neil

Methot-Karlsson
Cowen-Gonchar
Phillips-Benoit

Anderson

PROJECTED PENGUINS LINEUPS

Kunitz-Crosby-Dupuis
Iginla-Malkin-Neal
Cooke-Sutter-Kennedy
Bennett-Jokinen-Adams

Orpik-Martin
Letang-Niskanen
Eaton-Murray

Vokoun

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