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Eastern Conference Finals Game 1 Hotstove

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Opening strong

NHL: Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

The Sens split the last two series openers, but generally played well in both. Will we see another solid effort tonight?

Ross: Yes. If the Sens have a hope of winning the series, they have to show tonight that they can keep up with Penguins (regardless of final score). I predict we will see the Sens show up.

Colin: As usual in the series opener, I expect both teams will come out of the gate fired up. What will be more interesting to watch is to see if they can keep up the pace for the entire game, or if it trails off later. Considering Pittsburgh has home ice advantage, I'll guess that the Sens lose a close game, although not for a lack of effort.

Beata: Yes. The Sens tend to play their best hockey against tough opponents, and they'll be fired up for the first game.

Peter: I don't know if we'll see a win or a loss, but I certainly expect a solid effort. This is the first conference final for a lot of these guys, so there might be some nerves, but Boucher should have them calm and ready for puck drop. I'll be watching two key players: Karlsson and Anderson. I have no doubts that EK will be ready to go, but we'll see about Anderson.

Adnan: The Sens will play as well as Karlsson plays. With three days off between games, I suspect tonight might be Ottawa's best game of the series.