Coming into the 2017 Stanley Cup Playoffs, hockey fans expected to see last year’s champs, the Pittsburgh Penguins, make a deep run again this spring. What they didn’t expect was that the Pens would be facing an eighth-seeded Ottawa Senators team in the Eastern Conference Finals. Now the only Canadian team remaining in the playoffs, the Senators have an entire country rooting for them to make their first Cup appearance since 2006-07, where they lost to the Anaheim Ducks in five games. The Sens seem to have captured the kind of magic necessary to be successful in the playoffs, having won seven games in overtime through the first three rounds, including two games in double overtime.
The Penguins have been impressive thus far despite a plethora of injuries to key players. They defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in five games and beat the league’s top team, the Washington Capitals, in seven games. However, the offensively-gifted Pens have had difficulties scoring against a defensively-minded Ottawa team, managing to post only two goals in the first two games at home. Pittsburgh will need more out of their star-studded lineup on the road if they hope to crack the defensive wall that Ottawa has created around goaltender Craig Anderson. Game time is 8 PM ET.