|The Ottawa Senators will have home-ice advantage against NHL-leading scorer Sidney Crosby, above, and the Pittsburgh Penguins in Round 1 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Photo: P. MacCallum/Getty Images/NHLI|
by Todd Anderson
With a 6-3 win over the Boston Bruins to close out the 2006-07 NHL regular season on Saturday, the Ottawa Senators secured home-ice advantage for their first-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The series will kick off on Wednesday in Ottawa and resumes for Game 2 on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. at Scotiabank Place.
Senators head coach Bryan Murray says fans will be treated to an exciting series against Pittsburgh.
"We know offensively they're a very gifted hockey team. They've shown they can play from behind or in front. We know that they've got the exciting future in the NHL in Crosby and (Evgeni) Malkin and (Jordan) Staal and people of that nature.
"I think it's a good match. I think both teams have the ability to score, both teams have depth offensively. It'll be exciting hockey."
The Senators played to a 1-1-2 record against the Penguins this year. Before a 3-2 loss to Pittsburgh last week, Ottawa won 6-3 on Nov. 10 and then lost a pair of shootout games 5-4 and 4-3 on March 6 and 18, respectively.
Goaltender Ray Emery has started the last three games against Pittsburgh and, after being thrust into his first NHL playoff action last year, he feels better prepared this time around.
"Last year gave me a taste of things, and I was just excited to play," Emery says. "I realized there's a tiny margin between succeeding and packing your stuff up. I'm excited about the opportunity of redeeming myself from last year. I like the challenge of having key guys (on Pittsburgh) to shut down."
Click here for more information on Senators tickets for Round 1 against Pittsburgh.
If you're going to the game, be sure to pick up your copy of Bodycheck magazine while visiting Scotiabank Place for in-depth feature articles, Senators player bios and game-day lineups for the Stanley Cup playoffs.
Click here for the Senators' schedule for Round 1.