Senators-Penguins by the numbers: Can Ottawa overcome Game 7 curse?

Mike Sullivan talked about the Penguins’ leadership and how they need to approach the all-important Game 7 against the Senators. (Courtesy: PENS TV)

The Ottawa Senators could make history on Thursday night when they match up against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Only it’s not the kind of history they want to make.

The Senators have never won a Game 7, going 0-5 all-time—that’s tied with the Arizona Coyotes for the worst Game 7 record across the major North American pro sports leagues.

The Senators’ first Game 7 heart-breaker came in 1997 versus the Buffalo Sabres, ending the franchise’s first-ever post-season trip. The most recent was 2012 against the New York Rangers. Sandwiched in between was a particularly painful three-year stretch of back-to-back-to-back Game 7 losses:

Not only would a win Thursday night prevent the Senators from claiming sole possession of “worst Game 7 record,” it would send them to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 2007, where they’d face the Nashville Predators.

The Penguins have a bit of bad history when it comes to Game 7s, too:

Game 7 is scheduled for Thursday night at 8 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh. Here’s a by-the-numbers look at the series as we gear up for the winner-takes-all contest:

.938: Senators goalie Craig Anderson’s save percentage against the Penguins this series.

.950: Save percentage of Penguins netminder Matt Murray since stepping in for Marc-Andre Fleury (.910 SV%) in Game 3.

2: Number of shutouts earned by the Penguins this series (Fleury and Murray each have one).

6: Number of points from Evgeni Malkin, who sits atop Pittsburgh’s leaderboard after the first six games of this series. (Sidney Crosby leads the team in goals so far this series, with three). Malkin and Crosby are also atop the overall playoff leaderboard:

Bobby Ryan, who also has six points, leads the Senators in this series.

9: Number of playoff goals scored by Penguins rookie Jake Guentzel, which ranks him No. 1 in that category across all teams this post-season.

9-7: Penguins’ all-time Game 7 record, including their win over Washington in Round 2.

14-11: Accumulated score through six games of this series, in favour of the Penguins.

18: Number of games played by each team to get to this point. Ottawa won Rounds 1 and 2 in six games each, while the Penguins won Round 1 in five games and were pushed to Game 7 in Round 2.

21: Total number of career playoff wins for Anderson, who is now tied with Patrick Lalime for most goalie wins in the team’s post-season history.

24:36: Average time on ice per game from marathon man Erik Karlsson, who continues to play with an injured heel.

45: Number of saves made by Anderson in Game 6 to hold off elimination.

3,764: Total number of times the Ottawa Senators have been accused of being boring. (OK, we totally made this one up.)

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