The Pens open the Eastern Conference Final against Ottawa.
MATCH: Penguins vs. Senators
SERIES: Eastern Conference Final, 0-0
TIME: 7 p.m. EST
PLACE: PPG Paints Arena
RADIO: 105.9 FM, The X
WHAT TO WATCH FOR:
The Pens and Sens will face off in the postseason for the 5th time since 2007. The Pens are 3-1 in the previous 4 series matchups … The Senators won the regular-season series with a 2-1 mark, while Pittsburgh was 1-1-1. Bryan Rust recorded his 1st career hat trick, finishing it off with a penalty shot conversion, in Pittsburgh's 8-5 victory on Dec. 5 … Pens GM Jim Rutherford called goalie Marc-Andre Fleury the team's MVP so far. He's coming off of a 29-save shutout in Game 7 against Washington … Evgeni Malkin leads the NHL with 18 points (5G-13A) and rookie Jake Guentzel paces the league with 9 goals … Sidney Crosby has a 3-game assist streak since returning from a concussion. Crosby has at least 1 point in 9 of his 10 full postseason games played (not including the contest he left early due to the concussion) … Pittsburgh injuries: Trevor Daley (lower-body), Carl Hagelin (lower-body), Kris Letang (herniated disc) … Ottawa advanced to the Eastern Conference Final after defeating Boston, 4-2, and NY Rangers, 4-2 … Erik Karlsson was the Sens leading scorer against Pittsburgh in the regular season with 7 points (1G-6A). He also led the club overall in regular-season scoring with 71 points (17G-54A) and currently in playoff scoring with 13 points (2G-11A) … The Pens will face Derick Brassard for the 4th straight year, and 1st as a Senator. Brassard has 13 career playoff points (8G-5A) in 17 games against Pittsburgh … Jean-Gabriel Pageau had 6 goals in 6 games against the Rangers, including a 4-goal game with the overtime winner in Game 2 … Ottawa injuries: Mark Borowiecki (undisclosed).
MORNING SKATE REPORT:
*The Pens held an optional morning skate. The following players did not skate: Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel, Trevor Daley, Brian Dumoulin and Ron Hainsey.