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Senators trying to keep Penguins' brooms locked away

by Adam Schwartz

Anton Volchenkov, Wade Redden and the Ottawa Senators hope to trip up Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins
and prevent a four-game sweep tonight at Scotiabank Place.
On Wednesday, the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs will heat up even more with three Game 4s.

The Pittsburgh Penguins look to complete a sweep of the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place, the New Jersey Devils will try to even their series with the New York Rangers and the Detroit Red Wings will attempt to gain a 3-1 stranglehold on the Nashville Predators.

Here's what to keep an eye out for:

* Ottawa goalie Martin Gerber, who had a 2.72 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in the regular season, has allowed four goals in each of the Senators' first three playoff games. Gerber, who claimed Ottawa's starting job this season, has not faced fewer than 35 shots in any game this series.

* Senators rookie forwards Nick Foligno and Cody Bass have accounted for two of Ottawa's four goals in their last three games. It is both Foligno and Bass' first playoffs after a combined 66 regular-season games.

* Pittsburgh right wing Petr Sykora, who has totaled at least 50 points in five consecutive seasons, leads the team with three goals against the Senators. Sykora, who has been to the Stanley Cup Final three times, won the 2000 Stanley Cup with the Devils. He's been a plus player in five of his previous seven playoff seasons. 

* Penguins right wing Pascal Dupuis, who was acquired with Marian Hossa from Atlanta on trade-deadline day, entered this season's playoffs with just 11 points in 20 playoff games. So far, he has two assists in three games against the Senators this season.

* New Jersey left wing Patrik Elias, who had his lowest scoring output in a full season since 1998-99, has a goal and two assists for three points in three playoff games against the Rangers. Elias, who has three playoff seasons with at least 10 assists, is franchise's all-time leading playoff scorer, with 107 points.

* New Jersey defenseman Mike Mottau, signed by the Devils as a free agent in 2006, is playing in his first full NHL season at the age of 30.

* Rangers center Chris Drury, who has scored at least five goals in each of his last four playoff seasons, has no points in three games against the Devils. Drury, who is known for scoring important goals, has just three shots on goal in the series.

* Rangers defenseman Daniel Girardi, who leads the team with 14 hits, is third among Rangers with an average ice time of 20:34 in the playoffs. Girardi, who had no points and a minus-4 rating in 10 playoff games last season, has two assists and is tied for second on the team with a plus-3 rating in this series.

* Detroit left wing Henrik Zetterberg, who had one goal and a minus-5 rating in eight games against the Predators during the regular season, has two goals and a plus-2 rating against Nashville in the playoffs this season. Zetterberg, who was one of just eight players with at least 40 goals and 40 assists in the regular season, was fifth in the League and third among Red Wings with a plus-30 rating during the regular season.

* Red Wings left wing Tomas Holmstrom, who had 40 points in 59 games during the regular season, is tied for the team lead with eight hits in the playoffs. Holmstrom, who is one of the better players in the League at screening goalies and deflecting shots, had a minus-3 rating Monday in Detroit's 5-3 loss to Nashville.    

* The Red Wings, who allowed just three goals in their first two games of the series, allowed five goals in the second half of Game 3 as Nashville cut Detroit's series lead in half. Detroit, which will have home-ice advantage throughout the playoffs, was outshot for the first time in the series in Game 3.

* Nashville center Jason Arnott, who had one goal and five assists for six points in eight games against the Red Wings during the regular season, got his first point of the series when he scored the game-winning goal in the third period of Game 3. Arnott, who will play in his 100th career playoff game Wednesday night, has not had a plus rating in his last four playoff seasons and has a minus-2 rating through three games in this series.

* Predators center Radek Bonk, who had a League-worst minus-31 rating, has been a minus player in just one game this series. Bonk, who scored 14 goals this season, has just two goals in his last 16 playoff games.

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