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playoffs

Penguins will play Senators in Eastern Conference Final

Fifth playoff series in past 11 seasons; Ottawa won two of three during regular season

NHL.com @NHL

The Pittsburgh Penguins advanced to the Eastern Conference Final for a second straight season and will play the Ottawa Senators.

Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup champion, shut out the Washington Capitals 2-0 in Game 7 on Wednesday to end that second-round series.

Ottawa defeated the New York Rangers 4-2 in Game 6 on Tuesday to end that second-round series.

The Penguins, who finished second in the Metropolitan Division, will have home-ice advantage against the Senators, who finished second in the Atlantic Division. Pittsburgh had 111 points; Ottawa had 98.

Game 1 is at PPG Paints Arena on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, CBC, TVA Sports).

This will be the fifth Stanley Cup Playoff series between Pittsburgh and Ottawa in the past 11 seasons, first since 2013. Pittsburgh has won three of those four.

Pittsburgh, which defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first round, is led by forwards Evgeni Malkin (five goals, 13 assists), Jake Guentzel (nine goals, five assists) and Sidney Crosby (four goals, 10 assists). Marc-Andre Fleury is 8-4 with a 2.55 goals-against average and .927 save percentage starting all 12 games since Matt Murray was injured in warmups for Game 1 of the first round.

Ottawa, which defeated the Boston Bruins in the first round, is led by defenseman Erik Karlsson (two goals, 12 assists), and forwards Derick Brassard (three goals, six assists) and Bobby Ryan (four goals, five assists). Forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau has seven goals in the playoffs. Craig Anderson is 8-4 with a 2.49 GAA and .914 save percentage.

The Senators won two of three games against the Penguins this season. Karlsson had seven points (one goal, six assists), and forward Mike Hoffman scored three goals. Anderson allowed seven goals on 43 shots in an 8-5 loss on Dec. 5. Backup Mike Condon was 2-0-0 with an 0.91 GAA and .970 save percentage.

Bryan Rust had three goals and one assist and Malkin had one goal and three assists for the Penguins against the Senators. Murray was 1-1-1 with a 2.28 GAA and a .926 save percentage. Fleury allowed four goals on 16 shots in his one game.

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