Eastern Conference Preview: Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators

By Brian Kinkade

Feb 13, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Ottawa Senators defenseman Chris Phillips (4) defends his net as Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin (71) looks to shoot the puck during the first period at the CONSOL Energy Center. The Pittsburgh Penguins won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Pittsburgh Penguins had to battle the New York Islanders much harder than most expected, as their series against them went through 6 hard-fought games.  The Ottawa Senators, on the other hand, barely had to battle at all, it seemed, in their series against the Montreal Canadiens.

Series schedule

Game 1-Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center Tuesday May 14 6:30pm NBCSN

Game 2-Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center Friday May 17 6:30pm NBCSN

Game 3-Pittsburgh Penguins vs Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place Sunday  May 19 6:30pm NBCSN

Game 4- Pittsburgh Penguins vs Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place Wednesday May 22 6:30 pm NBCSN

Game 5- Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins at Consol Energy Center Friday May 24 6:30pm NBCSN

Game 6-Pittsburgh Penguins vs Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place Sunday May 26 TBA CBC

Game 7-Ottawa Senators vs Pittsburgh Penguins at Scotiabank Place Tuesday May 28 TBA CBC

The Penguins:  

 Arguably, there isn’t a team with as much firepower as the Penguins, in the NHL.  Having said that, the Penguins are not invincible.  The Islanders put up a mighty fight, in what was supposed to be a quick and easy series for the Penguins.  Marc-Andre Fleury was the starting goaltender for Pittsburgh going into their series with the Islanders, but by the end of the series, it was Tomas Vokun, as the feature goaltender.  Although there’s a goalie controversy, the Pens’ can light the lamp like no other, with guys like Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.  Pittsburgh’s scoring depth is as good as it gets, and will be the reason they win this series, if they do.

The Senators:

The Senators practically had the opposite kind of first round the Penguins did.  Ottawa was a 7th seed, matched up against the #2 seeded Canadiens.  You would have never known it, by watching the action on the ice.  The Senators physically bullied and outmatched the Canadiens to a 4 game sweeping upset.  The Sens scoring depth is far from a strength.  The top 6 is lead by veteran, Daniel Alfredsson, who will be counted on to provide most of the scoring, as well as be a leader to the young makeup of the Ottawa forwards.  The Senators’ defensive core, with it’s physical style, plus the offensive blue-line production from Erik Karlsson is their biggest strength, especially when combined with the goaltending of Craig Anderson.  


A almost perfect matchup, when considering each teams weakness and strengths make for an interesting yin/yang matchup.  The Senators will put a lot of pressure on the Penguins scoring core, but in the end, the elite scoring depth from the Penguins is unparalleled and should prove to be too much for the Senators potent defensive game, when it’s all said and done.

Pittsburgh wins the series in 7 games.

What is your prediction?