Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sidney is the showcase as the Penguins take control

The Penguins captain has taken charge of this first round series with the Ottawa Senators in dramatic style, as Sidney Crosby put yet another stamp on his teams efforts with another outstanding night of hockey.

A high scoring, at times unpredictable game played out at Scotiabank Place on Tuesday night as the Penguins jumped out to an early lead, faced a slight comeback by Ottawa and then quickly crushed the rebellion, setting the stage for series clinching victory on home ice on Thursday.

The Pens for the most part seemed quite in control of the night's events, taking the bulk of the play to the Senators from the opening face off, scoring quick goals in the first and eventually driving Brian Elliot from the game as they flooded the Sens end of the ice.

It was a match that provided for a bit of everything, fast paced end to end action, which on occasion was slowed down by baffling calls by the officials and frustrated retribution by the Sens. The Pens with the game in hand and on the cusp of eliminating the Sens, held little interest in the invitations of physicality that the Sens extended on the night, satisfied to let the final score of 7-4 do their talking for the evening.

Crosby who has been the driving force behind his Penguins for all four games thus far continued to pad his lead atop the Playoff scoring race, his four points of Tuesday bringing the four game total to 11 and for the moment the crowing rights over his arch rival over in Washington.

The Senators took game one, providing a wee bit of a shock to the Stanley Cup champs who have since righted their ship and now seem destined for a smooth sail into the second round. And while Ottawa has shown flashes of a comeback, for the most part the Pens have been able to shut them down when it counts the most, those key moments when a game is ready for that momentum shift seems more and more likely to swing to the defending champs.

The four games thus far have offered a sample of what has made Crosby the pre-emanate player of the current era of the league, the legend of that Olympic medal win now morphing into his ever more comfortable leadership role with the Penguins, which  finds him taking his team one more step towards their goal.

Globe and Mail-- Penguins have Senators on the ropes 
Ottawa Citizen-- Time ticking down on Senators' season after 7-4 loss  
Ottawa Citizen-- Slip, slip, slipping away 
Ottawa Sun-- Sens on brink after 7-4 loss 
Ottawa Sun-- Sens take subtle shots at officiating  
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Penguins take control of series in Ottawa 
Pittsburgh Tribune Review-- Sens have no answer for Pens' gritty guys  
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Penguins' Crosby produces four more points for 11 in series
Pittsburgh Post Gazette-- Penguins create space between advancing, elimination 

CBC Sports-- Penguins take 3-1 series lead over Senators 

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