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James Neal had a hat trick to lead the Penguins as they finished off the lifeless Ottawa Senators, 6-2, Friday night in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals in Pittsburgh to take the best-of-seven series 4-1.
Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin and Brenden Morrow also scored, and Tomas Vokoun made 29 saves as top-seeded Pittsburgh advanced to face either Boston or the New York Rangers.
Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa. Craig Anderson stopped 27 shots, but the Senators simply couldn’t keep the Penguins from their first conference finals since 2009, when they won the Stanley Cup.
Morrow scored his second goal of the playoffs 6:25 into the first period while scoring the kind of goal the Penguins expected out of him when they acquired the 34-year-old from Dallas just before the trade deadline.