The Ottawa Senators and Boston Bruins should take a lesson from the Pittsburgh Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers on how to set up a playoff series. The Senators and Bruins will probably play each other in the first round, but don’t expect Thursday’s game to offer much insight into how that series will go.
As we previously reported, Boston has already decided to rest three core players in Tim Thomas, Zdeno Chara, and Patrice Bergeron. Now the Ottawa Senators have followed suit by giving backup goaltender Ben Bishop his first start since he left a game on March 24 with a lower body injury.
“It’s fine. Every team probably says the same thing: You want to have healthy and fresh bodies going into the playoffs,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson in regards to the Bruins decision.
Ottawa’s decision to start Bishop probably has a little less to do with resting Craig Anderson and more to do with giving Bishop some playing time in case they need him in the postseason.
There’s still a chance that Ottawa will finish the season in eighth place, but in order for that to happen, they would have to lose both of their last two games and the Capitals would need to win both of theirs. The more likely scenario is that the Senators open the playoffs against the Bruins. Just not the Bruins team that they’ll face on Thursday.