The 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs will continue on Friday, May 24, as the action returns to Pittsburgh, Pa. With the Eastern Conference Semifinals taking center stage and the potential for elimination upon us, tensions will be high.
The question: When and where can you watch Friday's action?
The postseason will be limited to one game on Friday, but it will be a high-stakes affair as the Pittsburgh Penguins attempt to close out the Ottawa Senators. Pittsburgh enters this game with a 3-1 series lead after winning Game 4 in dominant fashion.
Something tells us we'll see a more competitive game than the 7-3 drubbing we witnessed in Game 4.
Ottawa Senators at Pittsburgh Penguins, Game 5
Time: Friday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBC Sports
Series Record: Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Ottawa Senators 1
The Pittsburgh Penguins enter Game 5 in full control, owning a 3-1 series lead as the action shifts back to their home ice. With that being said, the New York Islanders took a road game against the Penguins during the first round.
Who's to say the Ottawa Senators can't do the same?
The Senators enter this game in a rather uninspiring manner, but they have played the Penguins well at times. In fact, their most recent road loss against Pittsburgh came by just one goal during Game 2.
The question is, do the Senators believe they can come back?
Daniel Alfredsson has been the leader of this team for a long time, but doubt is a contagious thing.
For those concerned with Alfredsson's comments, don't jump the gun. The 40-year-old veteran clarified his comments and assumed his role as the leader of the Senators.
According to a report via The Associated Press, Alfredsson and the Senators don't plan on giving up.
"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."
That's more like it.
The question is, will the Senators be able to pull out the victory and bring the series back to Ottawa? Or will they be the next team to fall to the powerful Penguins?
Either way, it all starts with Sidney Crosby.
When you're the best player in the world and there isn't a close second, it may be a bit unfair to label you as the X-factor. After all, you're expected to come out and produce with every passing game, regardless of who they draw.
With that being said, the Senators have one hope to take down the Penguins—slowing down Sidney Crosby.
Pittsburgh is a deep team with multiple weapons, which makes Crosby's greatness all the more dangerous. Ottawa must focus on Crosby's playmaking ability whenever he's on the ice.
With 14 points in nine games, it's not hard to see why.
Sidney Crosby has reached 40 career playoff goals in his 77th game, fewest games to reach 40 playoff goals by an active player (from Elias).— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 23, 2013
For perspective, the Senators held Crosby to zero points in Game 3 and won 2-1 in overtime. Crosby netted a hat trick during a 4-3 Game 2 Penguins victory and two points in Pittsburgh's 7-3 Game 4 win.
The proof is in the numbers.
Even if Crosby is held without a point, the Senators must provide an offensive counterattack. Players such as Evgeni Malkin, James Neal and Pascal Dupuis are certain to be on the attack, which places Ottawa's elite defense under attack.
The question is, will this series end on Friday as the Penguins win Game 5, or will the Senators muster up enough offense to get the job done?
We're soon to find out.