Scouting the Enemy: Ottawa Senators

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Record:27-30-10

Leading scorers: Daniel Alfredsson (21G, 43A), Dany Heatley (32G, 31A)

Blogs: Silven Seven

Although the Penguins' playoff hopes are still in question, one thing remains certain: For the first time in three seasons Pittsburgh won't face the Ottawa Senators in the first round of the playoffs.  Of course that's more on Ottawa's end than it is on Pitt's, but that doesn't mean the Penguins don't have work to do.

You know, "work."  As in, not slacking off against a basement dweller and earning the two points no matter what. 

Surprisingly (or not, given the struggles this season) the Penguins are the ones who find themselves on the lower end of the season series.  Ottawa maintains the 2-0-1 advantage heading into this one, thanks in part to a strong start overseas in Stockholm.  Had it not been for Tyler Kennedy overtime heroics in the season opener then we here at Pensburgh would be in no position to bash.

Let us not forget the firepower that Ottawa will roll in with tonight.  Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson can do it all.  Take for example the other night, a 5-3 loss to the Bruins.  Neither of them picked up a goal but they grabbed two assists a piece in setting up Jason Spezza for two and Christoph Schubert for another.  They may not have the depth, but they can still be a threat.

It'll be interesting to see who the Sens will have in net.  Alex Auld's 12-17-6 record is not much to brag about, but back-up goaltender Brian Elliot's 11-4-3 is.  Granted some of those wins came against teams like the Lightning, Blues and Thrashers, but he's also registered a few notable ones over the Hurricanes (thanks), Capitals (thanks again) and Flyers (you're too kind).  Not to mention he's absolutely dominating the Sabres, winning in all three of his appearances this season (thanks anyway).

Fight fire with fire and the Penguins may have the edge.  It's safe to say Pittsburgh's depth gives them a slight advantage, but don't mistake today's game as an easy win.  It's a must-win.

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