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Senators vs. Penguins Game 5 Picks

Senators vs. Penguins Odds

Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Finals wasn't the prettiest thing on the face of the earth, but the Pittsburgh Penguins did what they had to do to survive. The switch to Matt Murray in net might have made all the difference in the world for the Pens, and now, it's back to the 'Burgh where the Ottawa Senators will have to win at least once more in order to keep their dreams of the Stanley Cup alive.

Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins Game 5
Date and Time: Sunday, May 21, 2017, 3 p.m. ET
Location: PPG Paints Arena, Pittsburgh, PA
NHL Playoff Odds
Senators vs. Penguins Game 5 TV Coverage: NBC

After losing 5-1 on Wednesday night in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals, the Penguins decided it was time to go back to the man who was supposed to start the postseason in net. Murray was fantastic in his first start since being taken off the ice during warm-ups of the opening game of the playoffs against Columbus. He stopped 24-of-26 shots en route to the Game 4 win, and the second goal he let in literally took three deflections before finding the back of the net.

Craig Anderson deserved a better fate, too. Ottawa's goalie let two by him that took nasty ricochets right in front of goal, including one off of Dion Phaneuf's skate on a puck that was intended to be a pass from Brian Dumoulin.

Regardless of the way the two net minders played, this was a much better game from the get go for Pittsburgh. It was the first time in this series it felt like the team was truly on the front foot every step of the way, and it had far more offensive zone time in the first 40 minutes of play than did the Senators. It was a deserving result for a series that has now shifted back the other direction once again and could see more twists and turns over the course of the next three games.

Key Player

Murray is going to get a lot of credit for the way he played in Game 4, but the real hero in our eyes was Sidney Crosby. It's easiest to say that Sid the Kid is always the most important person on the ice for the Penguins, but he was truly the real deal on Friday night, assisting on the first goal of the game and scoring the second. This came on the heels of arguably his worst start to a series in his career and a lot of questions surrounding whether he was truly right since suffering a concussion against Washington last round.

Crosby cooled off in the third period when the Penguins were on the back foot for the entirety of the 20 minutes, but in the first two periods, No. 87 was all over the place, recording five shots on goal and creating several opportunities for his mates offensively.

This time of year, you just flat out need your stars to be stars, and that's why Crosby is going to be the center of attention yet again on Sunday.

Senators vs. Penguins Game 5 Free Picks

The Senators are going to kick themselves for letting Game 4 get away from them. They had their shot to put the Pens down and didn't do it, and generally, that ends up being a real problem against the really good teams.

But as promised in Game 3, we're going to keep riding Ottawa the rest of the way even if the bandwagon careens into a ditch over the course of the next two games. These two teams are playing like they're on much more level terms than it feels like they should, and even Game 4 could have swung the way of the men in red with another break here or there.

We're due for one of these epic three-overtime thrillers, and this could be the game where that happens. There's far too much value in Ottawa to pass.

Senators vs. Penguins Game 5 Pick: Back the Senators at

Senators vs. Penguins Game 5 Score Prediction: Senators 2, Penguins 1