05/25/2013 03:09 EDT | Updated 07/24/2013 05:12 EDT

Stanley Cup Stories: Season ends for resilient Sens

The Pittsburgh Penguins ended an impressive but improbable run for the Ottawa Senators in the top NHL playoffs stories from Friday:

1. Game 5 between Pittsburgh and Ottawa opened with a controversial goal by Penguins forward Brenden Morrow, but it didn't take long for the Senators' fate to became clear. James Neal had a hat trick as Kris Letang and Evgeni Malkin also contributed goals to vault Pittsburgh to the Eastern Conference final with a 6-2 rout over Ottawa and 4-1 series win. Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris were the only Senators to generate offence, as Ottawa failed to advance past the conference semis since making the Stanley Cup final in 2007.

2.Captain Daniel Alfredsson took some heat earlier this week for acknowledging that the odds were against his underdog Senators to stay alive against the powerful Penguins. But Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry said he doesn't blame Ottawa's franchise player for his comments and gave some advice to reporters: "Smarten up and give them time to calm down," Cherry said on his Coach's Corner segment. "You know his dedication. He was just saying what everybody's thinking." Now Alfredsson faces questions about his future and as's Tim Wharnsby writes, family will be a factor in the veteran leader's decision.

3.Sens players put a positive twist on their second-round exit as fans also took to Twitter to give Ottawa props on a head-turning 2013 campaign.

4. A pair of Original Six matchups could also end Saturday. The Red Wings have a chance to upset the first-place Blackhawks in Chicago (CBC,, 8 p.m. ET). Detroit takes a 3-1 series lead into Game 5 for the 20th time in franchise history, but have only won nine times. In Boston, the Bruins take another crack at dispatching the Rangers after New York avoided a sweep Thursday.