For the final 40 minutes last night, the Ottawa Senators had no say in what happened. They were the Washington Generals. Pawns. Props in something bigger.
For the final 40 minutes last night, the Penguins’ talent took over.
The Penguins scored two goals in 40 seconds. Then three goals in 105 seconds.
Craig Anderson was powerless. He might as well have been some jobroni from the ECHL. When Sidney Crosby corkscrewed Chris Phillips into the ice en route to – YES! YES! YES! – a third-period goal, I thought Phillips might strike oil. I thought he might retire then and there. It got UGLY.
It won’t get any better. Even Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson says the series is over. I believe him.
*James Neal and Jarome Iginla each got two goals. I still hate Dan Bylsma’s line combinations, but the Penguins are averaging 4.1 goals per game. When the wrong decision works, it becomes the right decision.
*Kris Letang had a rough start, but controlled the puck and the game for the last two periods. Nice post-game interview, too. Good English, Tanger.
*Matt Cooke setting up Pascal Dupuis for the game-clinching shortie summed up both players: Cooke and Dupuis are playing as well as each possibly can.
*Beau Bennett played well in his return to the lineup, his duty expanding after Chris Kunitz got hurt. Bennett’s calm in big situations continues to impress.
*Crosby had a goal and assist. Malkin had no points. But each was dominant beyond stats, the 1-2 punch at center that only the Penguins have.
*The Penguins need to do better in front of their own net. But when you’re en route to scoring seven goals, that probably just seems like too much trouble.
*Sergei Gonchar: -4. Yikes.
The Penguins have too much talent for Ottawa. They might have too much talent for anybody.