The beasts of the east are here. It\’s the Eastern conference finals, featuring Sidney Crosby\’s Pittsburgh Penguins, and Erik Karlsson\’s Ottawa Senators. To start off the preview, let\’s look at the teams.
The Sens surprised many (not me) by beating the New York Ranger, the favorites, in 6 games. They were helped by an amazing performance by Karlsson in all 6 games. Jean-Gabriel Pageau\’s 4 goal game 2 will most likely be the best moment of his career. Goalie Craig Anderson has had a solid playoffs, with a 2.49 GAA and .914 SV% after 2 rounds. Kyle Turris came up clutch again, with an OT goal in game 5. The Sens look stronger than ever.
Once again, Crosby\’s Pens beat Alex Ovechkin\’s Capitals in round 2, even though they did that without Crosby for a game this time. Jake Guentzal has been a sleeper this playoffs. Phil Kessel and Patric Hornqvist will always be able to score. Justin Schultz was a top 15 defenseman this season. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury saved the Pens with a game 7 shutout against the Caps. He has a 2.55 GAA and a .927 SV% this postseason.
My prediction: Pittsburgh Penguins
Experience. Almost all of the Pens won the Cup last year. they know what it\’s like to be in this stage of the playoffs, while the young Sens don\’t. All-around, I still see the Pens more skilled. I think this will be a 6 game series.