OTTAWA, CANADA - MAY 22: Sidney Crosby #87 of the Pittsburgh Penguins celebrates his third period goal against Craig Anderson #41 and Erik Condra #22 of the Ottawa Senators in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Scotiabank Place on May 22, 2013 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Francois Laplante/NHLI via Getty Images)

Playoffs Tonight: Penguins aim to finish off Senators

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The New York Rangers lived to fight another day, but all of the second-round series are now just one game away from potentially ending.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at tonight’s offering:

Pittsburgh Penguins host Ottawa Senators (7:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN/Live Extra)
Pittsburgh leads series 3-1

After taking Game 3 in dramatic fashion, Ottawa got off to an early lead on Wednesday thanks to Milan Michalek’s shorthanded goal. The Senators ended up entering the first intermission with a 2-1 lead, but it was all downhill from there. By the end of the game, Ottawa had been handed a crushing 7-3 defeat.

After the game Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson was asked if it was “feasible to beat them three times in a row.”

“Probably not,” Alfredsson admitted, citing the Penguins’ depth as one of the reasons “it doesn’t look to good.”

Although he later claimed to be “probably” taken out of context, that moment might have caught just how demoralized the Senators were immediately following the game.

Meanwhile his coach, Paul MacLean, was unwilling to even answer questions after the defeat. Instead he pointed to the game sheet saying “everything’s right here.”

“We’re going to Pittsburgh, and we’re coming to play,” MacLean promised before walking away.

We’ll find out soon if the pesky Senators have at least one more surprise left. If not, tonight could mark the end of Alfredsson’s stellar career.

One thing is for sure: Craig Anderson will play between the pipes for the Senators. He was pulled from Game 4 after allowing six goals in 38 shots, but MacLean made it clear that Anderson would be back tonight.

“Andy played fine,” MacLean told the Ottawa Sun. “The play of our goaltender allows us to play with a certain amount of freedom, but at the same time we have to play for him, too.”

At times, Anderson has managed to best the Penguins stellar offense, but Pittsburgh has still scored 16 goals in the second round. He’ll need help if Ottawa’s postseason run is to survive the night.

Capitals manage OT win after coughing up lead to Bruins

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 03: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals looks on against the Winnipeg Jets during the first period at Verizon Center on November 3, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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It wasn’t pretty, and they might have lost key defenseman Matt Niskanen to injury, but at least the Washington Capitals managed a win against the Boston Bruins.

For a while, it was looking pretty ugly.

After going up 3-0, the Capitals went more than a period’s worth of time without even managing a shot on goal. Whether you lean more toward giving the Bruins credit for fighting back or beating up the Capitals for “sitting on a lead,” it’s staggering that such a dangerous offense could be held in check for so long.

Luckily for Washington, Nicklas Backstrom salvaged the night with an overtime goal to give the Capitals a 4-3 overtime win.

Both teams have had a knack for extending games beyond regulation lately, by the way:

Capitals over the last three games:
Shootout loss to the Lightning
Overtime win against the Sabres
Overtime win tonight against the Bruins

Bruins over the last five games:
Shootout loss against Flyers
Shootout win against Hurricanes
Regulation win against Sabres
Overtime win against Panthers
Overtime loss to the Capitals

Maybe that’s what gets it done in 2016-17: finding ways to carve out wins and shake out rough patches, like the Caps did tonight.

Matt Niskanen injured by Patrice Bergeron boarding hit

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Patrice Bergeron doesn’t have a reputation for dirty hits, but he drew the Washington Capitals’ ire for a hit on Matt Niskanen.

The Capitals consider Niskanen “probable” to return to Wednesday’s game against the Boston Bruins with what they’re calling an upper-body injury. Bergeron received a two-minute boarding penalty for the infraction.

(Check out video of the hit above.)

The Capitals’ Twitter acknowledged the brewing bad feelings.

Does Bergeron deserve supplemental discipline for that boarding hit?

Washington currently leads the game 3-2.

Ouch: NHL official helped off ice after puck to knee (Video)

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There are plenty of hazards on an NHL rink even if you’re not a player.

Barry Trotz ranks among the coaches who’ve been hit by pucks, though he’s one of the tiny sliver of humans who would shake off a puck to the forehead. It can be dangerous for officials, too, whether it means a wayward puck or wayward player.

The latest example comes in the form of linesman Steve Miller needing help off the ice after a puck hit him in the knee area. As you can see from the video, it looked like he was in serious pain.

Yikes:

Video: Tyler Bozak with some saucy moves on this goal

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It’s refreshing that hockey fans have, for the most part, moved on from debating Tyler Bozak‘s merits.

The general feeling is that the Toronto Maple Leafs use him in appropriate ways these days, so we can simply enjoy his work as a pretty spiffy hockey player.

Speaking of spiffy, check out the sweet moves he made against the Minnesota Wild for the goal above. Feels like you could dub over a Chris Berman “whoop” or two in there, right?

(If you’re into that kind of thing.)

Here’s that gaudy move in isolation and in GIF form: