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Sens, Pens open playoffs Wednesday

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Jason Spezza and the Senators open the Stanley Cup playoffs against the Penguins on Wednesday night at Mellon Arena in Pittsburgh. Games 3 and 4 are set for April 18 and 20 at Scotiabank Place (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images).

The second season arrives Wednesday for the Ottawa Senators.

With the regular schedule now in the books, the National Hockey League announced tonight the dates and times for its eight first-round playoff series. The Senators, who finished fifth in the Eastern Conference standings, have drawn the fourth-seeded Pittsburgh Penguins as their conference quarter-final opponent for the third time in four years.

The defending Stanley Cup champions play host to the first two games of the series, set for Wednesday and Friday at Mellon Arena. Both are 7 p.m. starts.

Next Sunday, the playoffs return to Scotiabank Place for the first time since 2008, with Game 3 set for a 6:30 p.m. start. Game 4 goes April 20 at 7 p.m.

Game 5, if necessary, is set for April 22 in Pittsburgh, with Game 6 slated for April 24 at Scotiabank Place. A seventh game, if needed, would be played at Mellon Arena on April 27.

In other Eastern Conference quarter-finals, the President's Trophy-winning Washington Capitals are matched up with the eighth-place Montreal Canadiens, while the second-seeded New Jersey Devils take on the No. 7 Philadelphia Flyers and the third-seeded Buffalo Sabres are paired with the sixth-seeded Boston Bruins.

CBC's Hockey Night in Canada will have television coverage of the series.

Check out the complete Stanley Cup first-round playoff schedule here.

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