OTTAWA – Sidney Crosby was careful not to get too far ahead of himself after helping the Pittsburgh Penguins rout the Ottawa Senators for a 3-1 lead in the NHL Eastern Conference semifinal series.
“I’m not talking about anything ahead of Game 5,” the Pittsburgh captain said when asked about a potential Eastern Conference final against the Boston Bruins.
But after the Penguins’ 7-3 victory Wednesday night, it’s hard to imagine Crosby and his teammates aren’t starting to think about facing the Bruins — up 3-0 over the New York Rangers.
Jarome Iginla and James Neal each scored twice, Crosby, Chris Kunitz and Pascal Dupuis added goals, and Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves. Down 2-1 after the first period, the Penguins scored twice in a 40-second span early in the second and added four goals in the first 10 minutes in the third.
Milan Michalek, Kyle Turris and Daniel Alfredsson scored for Ottawa. Senators goalie Craig Anderson was benched after Pittsburgh’s sixth goal, and Robin Lehner finished the game.
“There was a sense like, ‘OK, this might take as many shots as we can muster to break this guy.’ And fortunately, we kept on that mindset,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. “It was a matter of, ‘We are going to have to fire anything and everything we can at this guy to get one by him.’ ”
Game 5 is Friday night in Pittsburgh.
“I know what we’re going to do,” Alfredsson said. “We’re going to go out and play one hell of a game. That doesn’t worry me at all. We never quit and that’s not going to stop now. We know the odds are against us in every way, but we never quit and that’s going to continue.”