With the Pittsburgh Penguins wining the first two games of the Round 2 series at Consol Energy Center, the Ottawa Senators are looking for home ice to help them bounce back. What will it take for the Sens to win tonight?
The seventh-seed Senators averaged 3.4 goals per game in their five-game win against the second-seed Montreal Canadiens. After two games against the Penguins, the Sens have dropped to averaging only two goals per game. The Pens, averaging 4.2 goals against theNew York Islanders, have maintained that level by scoring four goals each in the first two games; a higher number than the 1.8 goals the Sens allowed the Canadiens. The Islanders scored 2.8 goals per game. Takeaway: Sens need to shut down the Pens offense to reduce their scoring, while stepping up their own offense.
The eight Penguin goals so far in the series have been scored by six different players; the four Senator goals by three players. The entire Pittsburgh team is stepping up and contributing to this playoff series. The Senators have only had moments of the team coming together and have not seen a a player leading the charge. The Sens did announce yesterday star forward Jason Spezza will be returning to the lineup. Takeaway: The Sens can’t rely on Spezza to carry the team to victory, but his presence alone could be the energy they need against the depth of the Penguins.
Goal-tending has been another critical part of this series. After Pittsburgh’s Marc-Andre Fleury struggled in Round One against the Islanders, backup goalie Tomas Vokoun has been in net. For the Sens, Craig Anderson has been their starting goalie the entire playoffs. The Sens have announced Anderson will be back in net tonight. Takeaway: More shots on goal may rattle Vokoun and get him off his game, just like more defensive support will help Anderson from falling off his.
Read my complete analysis on TheFarmClub.net.