The Eastern Conference Semifinals open tonight in Pittsburgh as the Penguins host the Senators. Game two is slated for Friday in Pittsburgh, while the series shifts back to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4 on Sunday and Wednesday of next week.
If needed, Game 5 will be back in Pittsburgh Friday May 24, while Game 6 is in Ottawa on May 26 and a potential Game 7 would be in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, May 28.
The Penguins are the heavy favorite after finishing atop the Eastern Conference with 72 regular season points, well ahead of the Senators and their 56 points to earn the seventh seed.
The Penguins advanced past the Islanders in six games, with a 4-3 overtime win sealing the series. The Senators are rested, coming off a five game series win over the Canadiens. That series wrapped up last Thursday with a 6-1 win in Montreal.
Despite their favorite status, the Penguins aren’t without their weaknesses. Goaltending was a big issue against the Islanders, with starter Marc-Andre Fleury struggling to a 2-2 record with a 3.40 goals against average and a .891 save percentage.
Tomas Vokoun replaced him for the last two games of the series, going 2-0 with a 1.41 goals against average and a .957 save percentage. There’s no word yet on who will be between the pipes for Game 1 against the Senators.
The Senators have been one of the best defensive teams in the league, giving up just 104 regular season goals to finish second in the league. If goaltending is a question mark for the Penguins, it is anything but for the Senators. Craig Anderson went 4-1 in the opening round with a 1.80 goals against average and a .950 save percentage.
He’ll be hoping to shut down a high-powered Penguins attack featuring Sidney Crosby, who returned from a broken jaw to score three goals and six assists in five playoff games. Evgeni Malkin scored twice and dished out nine assists in six games, while Jarome Iginla scored two goals and seven assists. It was Pascal Dupuis leading the Penguins in the goal-scoring category with five goals and two assists.
Don’t miss out on an exciting series; get your tickets now!