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SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:41 AM ET

SEASON SERIES

The Sens snapped their longest losing streak in a decade with a 6-3 win at Pittsburgh Nov. 10. But it was all Pens after that as they won three staight, two via the shootout, against Ottawa over the final month of the season.

LAST PLAYOFF MEETING

Have never met in playoffs

THE SKINNY

Crosby and Co. versus Spezza and Heatley? Cue the explosives ... C Sidney Crosby won his first scoring title and led the Penguins to the playoffs in his second season, putting him ahead of Mario Lemieux on both counts. Lemieux didn't win a scoring title until his fourth season and the Penguins didn't make the playoffs until his fifth ... Senators would not have minded LW Gary Roberts for the playoffs. With Pittsburgh, he might be able to show them why ... Marc-Andre Fleury is unproven in the Pittsburgh net in pressure situations. He appeared in a total of 11 playoff games in the past three years in the minors ... Pens C Jordan Staal led the league with seven shorthanded goals ... The Penguins get more from their young players that anyone in the NHL. Their top three goal scorers, Crosby (36 goals), C Evgeni Malkin (33) and Staal (29) all are under 21. It's believed that's a first for an NHL playoff team ... The Pens' 47-point improvement over last season is the fourth-best in NHL history. The 105 points is the second-highest total in team history, trailing only the 1992-93 team that finished with 119 points and ended the season with a 17-game winning streak ... Ottawa had a dozen players reach double figures in goals during the season ... The Senators are perennial Cup contenders. Is this finally their year?

HURTING

The Penguins will do without D Eric Cairns (knee) while the Sens come into the post-season injury-free.

POSSIBLE PLAYOFF HERO

Despite battling through injuries, Ottawa C Jason Spezza enjoyed a breakout campaign. He averaged over a point per game during last year's post-season and will be heavily relied upon. Pens superstar C Sidney Crosby, fresh off winning the Art Ross Trophy as the league's top scorer, is entering the playoffs for the first time. His talent knows no bounds and neither does his hunger.


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