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Look for Matt Cooke (Black) and Chris Neil (White) to bring a lot of phsyicality to the series.
Offensive Edge: Pittsburgh Penguins
A lineup with three Art Ross Trophy winners, a former NHL captain on the third line, and the unsung Pascal Dupuis already with five goals in the postseason, the Penguins easily win the offensive edge. Crosby, Iginla and Malkin lead the way offensively, despite struggling at times.
Daniel Alfredsson still looked impressive in the opening round, and the younger Senators stepped up and provided offense.
The interesting battle features the tough guys. Ottawa still resents Matt Cooke for injuring star defenseman Erik Karlsson earlier in the year, and lost a regular season game trying to enact revenge on the pesky Cooke. Look for the series to turn ugly if the tough guys start going at it.
Defensive Edge: Ottawa Senators
The Senators defense features two strong offensive defensemen and a lot of size. Erik Karlsson still looks a little out of form in Round 1, but still managed six points in five games. Sergei Gonchar provides a calming presence on the back end with years of experience and a Stanley Cup ring. The rest of the defense brings size and grit to the Senators back end, and played a vital role in shutting down the speedy Canadiens.
The Penguins possess a very capable blue line crew, highlighted by Norris Trophy candidate Kris Letang, who played poorly at times in Round 1, and Round 1 hero Brooks Orpik. The addition of Doug Murray adds a lot of size and toughness to Pittsburgh's blue line, but the Penguins seem to need a better bottom two to effectively shut down the opposition.
The Penguins defense stacks up against almost any team in the league, but failed to impress in the opening round, while the size and skill of the Senators proved to be a huge asset.
Goaltending Edge: Ottawa Senators
Craig Anderson stole the opening series against the Montréal Canadiens. The Vezina Trophy nominee continued strong regular season play, which included three losses (two in shootouts) against Pittsburgh.
Tomas Vokoun stole the starting job after the collapse of Marc-Andre Fleury in Game 4. Vokoun shut out the Islanders in Game 5 and won despite poor play of the Penguins skaters in Game 6. The Penguins signed Vokoun to play in the postseason in in the event of another Fleury collapse, and the 36-year-old hopes to make the most of the opportunity.
Anderson needs to stop the Penguins early and often to help the Senators upset the Penguins, while Vokoun needs to continue to steady the ship for Pittsburgh.
Prediction: Penguins, 6 Games
The Penguins offense simply overpowers the Senators, despite solid goaltending and strong defense. Look for the Penguins to regroup in Round 2 and continue to dominate the East.