While marathoners in Ottawa are limbering up for their long Sunday ramble, the Senators run has come to an end.

The Pittsburgh Penguins closed out the semifinal series four games to one, with a thunderous 6-2 victory in Game 5. The heads of Senators players were held high at the finish line, after losing to a Penguins team armed and loaded for a long and prosperous playoff life.

For the honour of representing the east in the Stanley Cup final, the Penguins will face the winner of the Boston Bruins-New York Rangers series in the Eastern Conference final beginning next week.

The Senators, meanwhile, can reflect on a season without shame, a season in which they fought off injuries to earn a playoff berth and then erased the Montreal Canadiens in a five-game first round series.

The Penguins were another matter. It was like joining a higher league. While Ottawa was able to steal a game on home ice, in double overtime, the Senators didn’t get much of a sniff otherwise as the Pens came after Senators goaltender Craig Anderson in waves of black jerseys.

Backup goalie Tomas Vokoun was supposedly the weak link of the Penguins, but the Senators weren’t able to consistently expose Vokoun’s propensity for yielding rebounds. Now that the series is over, who is to argue with the veteran Czech’s spectacular stats? He came into the game with a 15-2 record in his previous 17 starts, and held firm again Friday.

Beforehand, Vokoun said the Penguins didn’t necessarily carry any mental edge into Game 5 just because they had whacked Ottawa 7-3 in Game 4.

“Mental edge is more about how you execute that game ... if you are able to push the things you want to do on them or they are pushing things they want to do on us,” Vokoun said. “That’s the difference between winning and losing the game.”

Over the five games, the Penguins more consistently imposed their will, controlled the play on a Senators team that was forced to chase.

On the morning of Game 5, James Neal told me that the Penguins hoped to break some of that renowned Senators spirit as quickly as possible.