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Round 3, Game 1 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

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Preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 13, 2017

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Coming off a big 4-2 win on Tuesday night to close out the series against the New York Rangers, the Senators roll into Pittsburgh tonight to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins are coming off a 2-0 win in game seven over the Washington Capitals. The Sens have embraced the underdog role in the previous two rounds, and it's no different in this series as most pundits are ruling the Sens out already. The Sens are returning to the Eastern Conference Final for the first time since their 2007 run, while the Penguins are making their second consecutive appearance.

Lines and pairings are still unconfirmed at this point as Stalberg's status is unclear. Here are the expected lines based on yesterday's practice:

MacArthur - Turris - Hoffman
Ryan - Pageau - Stone
Dzingel - Brassard - Burrows
Wingels - Smith - Pyatt

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Claesson - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Some notes for tonight:

  • Over the exciting Sens run, they've mounted numerous comebacks. They have a record of 5-2 in games in which they have given up the first goal. On the other side, the Penguins have a record of 7-1 in games in which they have scored first. While exciting, the Sens are playing with fire if they have to keep relying on comebacks against Pittsburgh.
  • Special teams could be a big factor in this series. The Sens are rocking a 87.5% penalty kill and will be up against Pittsburgh's high-powered powerplay operating at 21.6%.
  • The Sens have won 12 of 26 Game 1s in their history.
  • The Sens won two of three games against the Penguins to win the regular season series, winning their last meeting 2-1 in a shootout at the end of March.
  • Dating back to last year, the Penguins have won six consecutive playoff series.
  • Mike Hoffman, Chris Wideman, Erik Karlsson, Clarke MacArthur, and Mark Stone are all currently on mini two-game point streaks from the Rangers series.
  • Through two series, Craig Anderson has a 2.49 GAA and a 91.4% Save Percentage. The Sens will need him to be at his best in order to keep the strong Penguins offence at bay..
  • You can catch tonight's game at 7:00pm ET on NBC, CBC, TVAS, or Sportsnet

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com

Category

Ottawa

Pittsburgh

Player

#

Player

#

Goals

Jean-Gabriel Pageau

7

Jake Guentzel

9

Assists

Erik Karlsson

11

Evgeni Malkin

13

Points

Erik Karlsson

13

Evgeni Malkin

18

Shots

Derick Brassard

35

Phil Kessel

38

Average Ice time

Erik Karlsson

28:56

Brian Dumoulin

21:00

Category

Ottawa

Pittsburgh

#

Rank

#

Rank

Goals For

2.83

3rd

3.42

1st

Goals Against

2.75

10th

2.58

8th

Shots For

31.4

10th

27.7

14th

Shots Against 31.7 10th 35.3 16th