Eastern Conference finals preview: Senators vs. Penguins

4:34 PM ET

Ottawa Senators (98 regular-season points, second, Atlantic Division) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (111 regular-season points, second, Metropolitan Division)

PebguinsBlue Jackets

Why we have to watch: The Penguins, who won a Stanley Cup final year, have kept their hopes of repeating alive by slaying dual of a best teams in a NHL in a initial dual rounds. But they enter a Eastern Conference finals kick adult and hold together some-more by perfect will and integrity than anything else. … The Senators clearly have something special going this spring, interjection to their burning coach, inspirational goalie and a trap that has successfully undone scarcely each organisation they’ve played. … The array facilities a best actor on Earth (Sidney Crosby) and a best defenseman on Earth (Erik Karlsson). That alone creates it must-watch. … Karlsson has been glorious this postseason, and discussion finals theatre should give a Swede even some-more of an event to shine. He has 13 points in 12 playoff games, while personification scarcely 29 mins per game. No other defenseman has reached double digits in playoff points.

Head to head: The Senators won dual of 3 opposite a Penguins this year, yet a Penguins had a healthy shot domain in those games (111-97) and a Senators scored usually one some-more idea than a Penguins in their deteriorate array (11-10) … They played a furious diversion in Dec in that a Penguins speckled a Senators a 4-2 lead and afterwards scored 6 goals in a subsequent 32 mins for a quip win. … The Penguins had a tough time containing Erik Karlsson during a unchanging season. He purebred 7 points in 3 games opposite Pittsburgh, yet he was a minus-1. … Ottawa’s energy play gave a Penguins difficulty during a unchanging season, going 6-for-12 opposite them.

Injury fallout: Karlsson suggested after a initial turn that he was personification with dual hairline fractures in his foot, yet it has frequency slowed him down. He’s simply a weird of nature. … Senators brazen Viktor Stalberg suffered an undisclosed damage in Game 6 opposite a Rangers and played reduction than 7 minutes. … Ottawa defenseman Mark Borowiecki has been ruled out for a start of a discussion finals. He was harmed in a first-round array opposite a Boston Bruins. … The Penguins are still yet Kris Letang, who underwent neck medicine final month, and his deficiency was felt during times opposite a Washington Capitals in a discussion semifinals. … Penguins defenseman Trevor Daley is day-to-day with a lower-body injury, that he suffered opposite a Capitals. … Pittsburgh brazen Carl Hagelin missed Game 7 opposite a Capitals and hasn’t been himself given returning to a lineup after pang a lower-body damage in March.

Goalie advantage: Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was marvellous opposite a Capitals in Game 7, induction a shutout in a clincher. He finished that array with a .921 save percentage, outplaying Washington netminder Braden Holtby for many of it. Fleury’s knowledge and opening this open give him an corner over Senators goalie Craig Anderson. … Fleury, who stepped in for Matt Murray when a Penguins’ starter was harmed during warmups before a initial diversion of a playoffs, has a .927 save commission altogether this postseason. … Murray is now healthy adequate to behind adult Fleury, and it will be engaging to see how brief a control is on Fleury if things start to go laterally for a Pens. … Anderson recovered from a severe patch in a center of a array opposite a Rangers to stop 37 of 39 shots in a clincher. He finished with a .907 save commission final round.

2017 Stanley Cup playoffs coverage

Visit a 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs page on ESPN to get dates, diversion schedules, organisation matchups and featured news all a approach into a finals.

  • Experts’ predictions: Conference finals picks

    The Penguins limped by a second turn and are now one step closer to repeating. Our experts import in with their predictions for a discussion finals of a 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs.

  • Western Conference finals preview: Ducks vs. Predators

    This array facilities star energy in a form of Predators defenseman P.K. Subban and glorious goaltending from Pekka Rinne, yet it could turn a dermatitis celebration for Ducks forward Rickard Rakell.

  • Coaching advantage: For a second uninterrupted postseason, manager Mike Sullivan has expertly navigated his approach by each jump thrown a Penguins’ way. The adjustments he done opposite a Capitals in time for Game 7 are partial of a reason Pittsburgh prevailed. … Sullivan has emerged as one of a game’s best tacticians and has also been a steadying participation behind a dais for a Penguins, environment an instance of steely resolve. … Senators manager Guy Boucher deserves a ton of credit for removing a finish buy-in from his organisation this year and for assisting turn out Karlsson’s game. Boucher’s 1-3-1 trap is a large reason a Senators are where they are. But we give a corner to Sullivan since he has a ring.

    Prediction: The Senators are a good story and Karlsson is a superstar. But, even yet they’re banged up, a Penguins’ championship pedigree, star energy and captain give them a edge. Penguins in 5 games.

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