Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Series Odds
Stop me if you have heard this one before but the Penguins and Senators will meet in the first round of the playoffs. It is the third time in four seasons this is happening. In 2007 the Senators took four of five games on their way to winning the Eastern Conference and the very next year the Penguins swept the Senators on the way to winning the Eastern Conference.
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This season things have been just as even with the teams splitting their four games. As even as the teams have been, the games have not really been that close with Ottawa winning their games 4-1 and 6-2 and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins winning 8-2 and 4-1.
This is the No. 4/No. 5 matchup, but records indicate it is not really that close. The Penguins actually have the third best record in the Eastern Conference but Buffalo gets the No. 3 seed because it won its division. The Penguins finished with 101 points and Ottawa ended the season with 94.
The Penguins are not as hot as they were at this time last season when they storming into the postseason, but at the same time they may be one of the teams in the playoffs that many would like to avoid. They have the dynamic duo of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, obviously, but general manager Ray Shero has once again brought on strategic role players.
These moves made by Shero have helped propel the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup Final appearances. This year he brought on board dynamic scorer Alexei Ponikarovsky and defensive stalwart Jordan Leopold. The Penguins may not be entering the playoffs on a hot streak but they are getting healthy just in time with both Malkin and Sergei Gonchar returning to the lineup recently.
Former Penguin Alexei Kovalev could have been a major factor in this series for Ottawa but he was lost just a week ago with a torn ACL. That is a major blow to an Ottawa team who already had the bad luck of drawing the Penguins in the first round. If the Penguins were not struggling with their power play and their overall lack of emotion then this could be sweep but it won’t be.
Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators Series Predictions
Penguins in five
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