The chase for the Stanley Cup is down to four teams, and the NHL Conference Finals begin this weekend.
Before the games, make sure to take a look at our preview below, where we review some pertinent information and predict which teams will continue to fight for the Stanley Cup.
Eastern Conference Finals
Ottawa Senators vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
Season Series: Ottawa 2-1
Player to Watch: Jean Gabriel Pageau, F — Ottawa
Ottawa has suffered through some stretches where the offense goes quiet, but J.G. Pageau has been a fire starter this postseason with two games of three or more goals, including four in one contest with the Rangers. While it is unlikely we see four from the forward again, he could be the spark to ignite the Senators chances.
Sidney Crosby, F — Pittsburgh
The best player in the world, Crosby is just four wins away from his fourth appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals. A devastating injury that only lasted one game during the Washington series seems to have warn off, and hopefully Crosby is 100% when the series begins Saturday. With a combination of Rust, Guentzel, and Sheary paired with him, Crosby has effectively taken over games at times, and is a threat every time he touches the puck.
|14.6||Power Play %||21.6|
|87.5||Penalty Kill %||80.0|
The Penguins are going for their second-straight trip to the Conference Finals, and this is actually the easiest opponent they will be facing after going through Columbus and Washington. Ottawa on the other hand, has continuously pulled upsets after spoiling Boston and New York in the first two rounds.
The Senators lack a great offense, and goalie Craig Anderson is no home-run hitter when facing a high volume of shots. Pittsburgh has a lethal power play which should be successful this series after struggling against the Capitals, and Marc-Andre Fleury is playing the best hockey of his entire career right now.
The Senators have been a great story, but the Penguins will once again prove that they are the best team in the East with a dominant showing.
Penguins in 6