A long and mostly painful season mercifully comes to an end for the Ottawa Senators, ironically against the same team it finished against last season, although under much different circumstances.
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The Penguins dispatched the Senators in the second round of the playoffs last season, but the teams have split a pair of games already this season. Ottawa won 5-0 just before Christmas, with the Penguins winning 2-1 in a shootout in early February.
Ottawa beat the rival Maple Leafs 1-0 on Saturday while the Penguins also faced a bitter rival, dropping a 4-3 overtime decision in Philadelphia.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Jaff Zatkoff, PIT – The only player virtually assured of being in the lineup, will be a focal point as Marc-Andre Fleury‘s backup. Fleury had stumbled in the last two post-seasons, so it might end up being Zatkoff’s job to run with if the struggles continue.
Robin Lehner, OTT – After Craig Anderson‘s shutout on Saturday, Lehner will look to match that performance as the duo try to leave a lasting impression to make conversation about who should get the starting job in the fall.
TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME
1. Make it 5 – The Senators could end the season on a 5 game winning streak and finish as high as 10th in the conference.
2. Hibernating Pens – Don’t expect to see Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, or any other superstar Penguins as they will likely get the night off to get extra rest heading into the playoffs. It will be a workmanlike lineup.
3. Finish Strong – A win is a win, and the Senators could miss the playoffs by as few as 3 points, which makes some of those bad losses over an 82 game season hurt even more.