Game 1 Preview: Penguins vs. Senators

Marc DesRosiers-US PRESSWIRE

A quick look at things going on around the Penguins and Senators as they gear up for Game 1.

My story from today didn’t work, and the Pens are going with Tomas Vokoun. Even though I advocated for Marc-Andre Fleury, it doesn’t seem like a bad move to play the guy who brought ya here, and Vokoun is definitely the reason the Penguins are in the second round.

--Silver Seven Sens dropped in with 5 keys to the series. The one that pops out the most to me:

Spezza practiced with the team on Sunday. It's still unclear when he might return to the lineup, but if he can make it back before the end of Round Two, it'll be big for the Sens' offence. The first concern will be Spezza's health and whether there's a serious risk of re-aggravating the injury he's currently trying to return from, but if soreness and/or fitness is all that's holding him back, his return will be huge. Even if Spezza himself isn't able to produce, he'll draw some of the Penguin's top defenders away from guys like Turris and Mika Zibanejad, giving those two a bit more room to work. We'll see if anything happens here, but Spezza's return would be huge. Based on his recent comments, he sounds motivated to return:

Spezza’s status will be a huge story point going forward.

--Nice look at the stat categories from Faceoff Factor, with them highlighting faceoffs as:

Key advantage here for the Penguins. They were sub-par by their own standards at certain points against the Islanders. Dominance in the Faceoff’s will be key against a stingy Senators defense.

--The Pensblog with a great Top 5 moments in Pens/Sens of series past. I was right behind the net on #2, one of the best moments I’ve seen in hockey.

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