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Round 3, Game 7 preview: Ottawa Senators @ Pittsburgh Penguins

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Pittsburgh Penguins on May 25, 2017

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Saying that tonight's game is the biggest of the year would be a huge understatement. It's also not unreasonable to say that it could be one of the most defining games in franchise history. At the start of this season, no one could have predicted that the Sens could be one win away from an appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. The Sens are proving the doubters wrong at every turn, so in the words of Bobby RyanWhy Not Us?

The Sens, thanks in large part to Craig Anderson, did a great job of holding down the fort on Tuesday night in Ottawa to force a game seven. They are going to need at least the same effort in order to come out on top again.

Guy Boucher mainly rolled with three lines for most of game six and it's still unclear at this point what tonight's lineup will look like as he is still deciding between Kelly and Wingels for the last spot. Here are the expected lines and pairings at this point.

MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Brassard- Smith - Stone
Hoffman - Pageau - Pyatt
Stalberg - Kelly/Wingels - Dzingel

Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Claesson - Wideman

Anderson (starter)
Condon

Some notes for tonight:

  • Scoring the first goal tonight would be huge for the Sens as the Penguins have a record of 1-5 when their opponent scores first. On the other side, the Sens have a record of 6-5 when their opponent gets the first goal.
  • The Sens powerplay finally broke out of their slump with a Bobby Ryan 5-on-3 powerplay goal, pushing them up to 1-for-18 on the powerplay in the series.
  • With 46 shots against in game six, the Sens gave up the 8th-most shots in a regulation-time playoff win since 2000.
  • Matt Murray is 8-0 in the playoffs after a loss.
  • Since the 2004-05 lockout, goalies who start a playoff game on their birthday have a record of 1-3 with a GAA of 4.09 and save percentage of 86.9%. As it turns out, today is Matt Murray's birthday...
  • The Sens lead the playoffs in both the hits category with 660 and takeaways with 146.
  • Mark Stone is tied with Anaheim's Jakob Silfverberg for the playoff-leading 19 takeaways.
  • With a win tonight, the Sens would make their second Stanley Cup Finals appearance, whereas the Penguins would be making their sixth appearance.
  • The Sens have never won a game seven (0-5). Meanwhile the Penguins have a 9-7 record in game sevens (but only 3-7 at home), most recently winning game seven on the road against the Capitals in the second round.
  • The Penguins have a record of 2-4 this year in games where they could eliminate their opponent while the Sens have a record of 2-1 in such games.
  • You can catch tonight's game at 8:00pm ET on NBCSN, CBC, TVAS

Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from PuckOn.net

Category

Ottawa

Pittsburgh

Player

#

Player

#

Goals

Jean-Gabriel Pageau

8

Jake Guentzel

9

Assists

Erik Karlsson

14

Evgeni Malkin

17

Points

Erik Karlsson

16

Evgeni Malkin

24

Shots

Erik Karlsson

51

Phil Kessel

53

Average Ice time

Erik Karlsson

27:29

Brian Dumoulin

21:28

Category

Ottawa

Pittsburgh

#

Rank

#

Rank

Goals For

2.50

9th

3.06

1st

Goals Against

2.61

9th

2.33

6th

Shots For

30.3

10th

29.6

12th

Shots Against 32.2 10th 32.8 12th
Event, score and venue adjusted Corsi % 49.4% 9th 48.3% 12th
Event, score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 49.8% 7th 49.7% 8th