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Everything you need to know about the NHL Entry Draft

2017 NHL Entry Draft
When:
Friday, June 23, 7 p.m. ET; Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m. ET
Where: United Center, Chicago
TV: Sportsnet, NBCSN (Friday); Sportsnet, NHL Network (Saturday)

Draft day.

The next crop of NHLers are set to have their immediate and long-term futures decided Friday night and Saturday morning.

Below is everything you need to know about the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.

Prospect Rankings

Nico Hischier and Nolan Patrick, the consensus top two picks, jockeyed for position on prospect rankings lists all season long. Consider it a coin toss. Here are NHL Central Scouting's top 10 prospects from North America and Europe:

North American Skaters

Rank Prospect Height Weight (lbs) Nationality
1 Nolan Patrick (C) 6-2 199 Canadian
2 Nico Hischier (C) 6-2 179 Swiss
3 Casey Mittelstadt (C) 6-0 199 American
4 Gabriel Vilardi (C) 6-3 203 Canadian
5 Michael Rasmussen (C) 6-6 221 Canadian
6 Cody Glass (C) 6-2 178 Canadian
7 Owen Tippett (RW) 6-0 203 Canadian
8 Eeli Tolvanen (RW) 5-10 189 Finnish
9 Cale Makar (D) 5-11 187 Canadian
10 Nick Suzuki (C) 5-11 183 Canadian

European Skaters

Rank Prospect Height Weight (lbs) Nationality
1 Klim Kostin  (C/LW) 6-2 207 Russian
2 Elias Pettersson (C) 6-2 165 Swedish
3 Lias Andersson (C) 5-11 201 Swedish
4 Miro Heiskanen (D) 6-1 172 Finnish
5 Martin Necas (C) 6-1 178 Czech
6 Timothy Liljegren (D) 6-0 188 Swedish
7 Kristian Vesalainen (LW/RW) 6-4 209 Finnish
8 Urho Vaakanainen (D) 6-1 188 Finnish
9 Erik Brannstrom (D) 5-9 179 Swedish
10 Jesper Boqvist (C) 5-11 165 Swedish

Here are final prospect rankings, most 100 deep, from a number of different outlets:

Mock Drafts

Hischier? Or Patrick?

Check out mock first-round selections from a number of different media outlets:

Scouting Combine

The NHL Scouting Combine was held in early June in Buffalo, and here's how Hischier and Patrick fared, head to head:

Hischier Test Patrick
105.75 inches Standing long jump 99.75 inches
7 Bench press (70% of body weight) 12
4.75 seconds Pro agility test left 4.76 seconds
4.53 seconds Pro agility test right 4.75 seconds
19.37 inches Vertical jump 19.49 inches
13 Pullups 11

You can view top 25 results for each fitness test on the Central Scouting website.

Draft Order

The New Jersey Devils and Philadelphia Flyers will be landing one of Hischier and Patrick after ping-pong balls bounced their way in the draft lottery.

Here's the draft order through the first round:

Pick Team
1 Devils
2 Flyers
3 Stars
4 Avalanche
5 Canucks
6 Golden Knights
7 Coyotes
8 Sabres
9 Red Wings
10 Panthers
11 Kings
12 Hurricanes
13 Golden Knights (from Jets)
14 Lightning
15 Golden Knights (from Islanders)
16 Flames
17 Maple Leafs
18 Bruins
19 Sharks
20 Blues
21 Rangers
22 Oilers
23 Coyotes (from Wild)
24 Jets (from Blue Jackets via Golden Knights)
25 Canadiens
26 Blackhawks
27 Blues
28 Senators
29 Stars (from Ducks)
30 Predators
31 Penguins

Draft Picks

Here are the picks each team has in the coming draft (in alphabetical order):

Team Round 1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Total
Anaheim 0 2 1 1 1 0 0 5
Arizona 2 1 2 0 1 0 1 7
Boston 1 1 0 1 0 1 2 6
Buffalo 1 2 1 1 0 0 1 6
Calgary 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 5
Carolina 1 2 2 1 0 1 1 8
Chicago 1 1 1 1 3 2 1 10
Colorado 1 1 0 2 1 1 1 7
Columbus 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 5
Dallas 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 8
Detroit 1 1 4 1 1 2 1 11
Edmonton 1 0 2 1 2 1 1 8
Florida 1 1 1 0 1 1 0 5
Los Angeles 1 1 1 2 2 1 0 8
Minnesota 0 0 1 2 1 1 1 6
Montreal 1 2 2 0 1 0 0 6
Nashville 1 1 1 0 1 1 1 6
New Jersey 1 1 2 1 2 2 1 10
New York Islanders 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 4
New York Rangers 1 0 0 1 1 1 1 5
Ottawa 1 1 0 1 0 1 0 4
Philadelphia 1 1 2 3 1 1 2 11
Pittsburgh 1 0 1 0 2 1 1 6
San Jose 1 1 0 1 0 2 3 8
St. Louis 2 1 0 1 1 1 1 7
Tampa Bay 1 1 1 0 0 2 1 6
Toronto 1 1 0 2 1 1 1 7
Vancouver 1 2 1 2 0 0 1 7
Vegas 3 3 1 1 2 2 1 13
Washington 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 4
Winnipeg 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 8

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Luongo crosses himself off Panthers’ exposed list

It was only a matter of time before Roberto Luongo chimed in.

The Florida Panthers' 38-year-old goalie was left exposed by the club ahead of the expansion draft, and took to Twitter to sympathize with the Vegas Golden Knights' tough decision ahead:

Vegas must select one player from each team, and Luongo crossed himself off the list.

Considering the 'tender's $4,533,333 salary-cap hit through 2021-22, it's a safe bet Luongo will be in Florida next season and beyond. But you can't fault the guy for making sure. Or trying to, at least.

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Poll: Will the Predators force Game 7?

The only thing better than Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Final is Game 7.

If "Winner gets the Cup" is played, it will be contested Wednesday in Pittsburgh. Whether it happens is up to the Nashville Predators. And the Penguins, too, we suppose.

Here's the tale of the tape after five games, each won by the home team:

Team W L GF GA SF SA SV% PP% PK%
Penguins 3 2 17 13 115 147 .912 9.1% (2-for-22) 71.4% (10-for-14)
Predators 2 3 13 17 147 115 .852 28.6% (4-for-14) 90.9% (20-for-22) 

Game 6 is at 8 p.m. ET in Nashville.

Is the Stanley Cup Final going the distance?

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Ranking the top 80 unrestricted free agents: 80-66

June is an incredibly busy month for the NHL, but that doesn't mean we can't look ahead to what's coming. Free agency begins at 12 p.m. ET on July 1, and we're ranking the top 80 unrestricted free agents in a seven-post series ahead of the madness.

We're going to start at the bottom and work our way towards the top. Up first, UFAs ranked 80-66

80. Ondrej Pavelec (G)

Age on Oct. 1: 30
2016-17 Cap Hit: $3.9M

It's hard to believe Pavelec is only 29. It feels like he's been bad for so long. But, he's a goalie, and half-decent backups were hard to find this season. He had an .888 save percentage last season, and his career mark is .907. Buyer beware, but he won't cost much.

79. Vernon Fiddler (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 37
2016-17 Cap Hit: $1.25M

(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

Hey, everyone needs fourth-line guys. And he's Stanley Cup finalist Vernon Fiddler to you, pal.

78. Matt Hendricks (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 36
2016-17 Cap Hit: $1.85M

No one said the names this low on the list were going to be pretty. Now that the Oilers can actually play, Hendricks saw his ice time reduced to 10:45 a night, and he only played in 42 games. He is who he is, and he's getting up there in age, but he'll tell you he can still kill a penalty or two.

77. Jean-Francois Berube (G)

Age on Oct. 1: 26
2016-17 Cap Hit: $675K

Again: Backup goalies were brutal this season. And Berube's only 26. Someone will take a chance, because the Islanders simply didn't play him enough to know what he brings to the table.

76. Chris VandeVelde (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 30
2016-17 Cap Hit: $712,500

(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

VandeVelde's been a mainstay in the Flyers' bottom-six forwards for the past three seasons, in which he's recorded 15, 14, and 15 points. His possession numbers are brutal, but that's why he's in the bottom six, right? And one more team in the league means a few more bottom-six jobs.

75. Fedor Tyutin (D)

Age on Oct. 1: 34
2016-17 Cap Hit: $2M

Much like the fact teams need fourth-line guys, they also need depth defensemen. Tyutin averaged 18:56 in ice time in 69 games on Colorado's blue line this season, an experience he's probably trying his best to forget. He was a minus-25 with a ghastly 46.75 Corsi For rating. Think of him like a baseball reliever - someone's got to throw those innings.

74. Curtis McElhinney (G)

Age on Oct. 1: 34
2016/17 Cap Hit: $800K

Without McElhinney, the Maple Leafs miss the playoffs. Seriously. He finished at a respectable .917 in 15 starts and 21 games, and should be able to find another backup job.

73. Jiri Hudler (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 33
2016-17 Cap Hit: $2M

(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

The Dallas experiment was a massive failure. Illness and injury limited Hudler to only 32 games, and he managed three goals and eight assists while playing only 11:51 a night. Prior to 2016-17, he had 81 points in his 125 games over two seasons, good for a .648 per-game average. We don't think he's done.

72. Drew Miller (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 33
2016-17 Cap Hit: $1.025M

It appears Miller's time in Detroit is over after eight seasons, and perhaps that's not a bad thing. His possession numbers were god-awful - it's better not to look. He can still skate, and he needs a fresh start somewhere else.

71. John Mitchell (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 32
2016-17 Cap Hit: $1.8M

After four straight seasons in which he scored 10 or more goals and had at least 20 points, Mitchell's production fell off a cliff this season. Blame the Avalanche; Mitchell probably does. Despite playing in Denver, Mitchell had a 49.29 Corsi For rating, which ranked fifth among Avs forwards who played at least 40 games.

70. Eric Gryba (D)

Age on Oct. 1: 29
2016-17 Cap Hit: $950K

(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

Gryba didn't play all that much in 2016-17, but he finished with the Oilers' fourth-highest possession rating (52.13 percent) among players who suited up in at least 40 games. He's youngish - with 2017-18 his age-29 season - so there's some value here for a depth defenseman. At least we think so.

69. Scottie Upshall (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 33 (34 on Oct. 7)
2016-17 Cap Hit: $900K

Upshall recorded a respectable 10 goals and eight assists in 11 minutes per game on a 99-point Blues squad - and all for only $900,000. The possession numbers were nasty, though, but, again, there's a reason why bottom-six guys are bottom-six guys.

68. Brian Flynn (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 29
2016-17 Cap Hit: $950K

Flynn's age is why he's where he is on this list. He'll give you 10-to-15 points in around 50-to-60 games playing 12-to-14 minutes a night, and can be used on the penalty kill. Ain't nothing wrong with any of that.

67. Ryan White (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 29
2016-17 Cap Hit: $1M

(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

Back-to-back 16-point seasons for White, who is nothing if not consistent. Traded to Minnesota in the Martin Hanzal deal, White had a 52.17 Corsi For rating with the Wild, despite being on the ice for 12 goals against and only four goals for.

66. Viktor Stalberg (F)

Age on Oct. 1: 31
2016-17 Cap Hit: $1.5M

Stalberg goes where there is work, and there is often work. Those two 20-goal seasons were nice, but won't happen again. However, he will chip in, and has been a positive possession player for most of his career.

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On the Fly: Can the Preds pull off hockey’s Music City Miracle?

In this week's edition of "On the Fly," we're talking Music City Miracle Part II. The Nashville Predators must win two in a row against the Penguins, one of those in Pittsburgh, to win the Stanley Cup. Can it be done?

Absolutely not

Josh Wegman: Given how desperate the Predators will be in Game 6, and the fact they'll have their amazing crowd behind them, I think they can force a Game 7. But can they win Game 7? Absolutely not.

Pekka Rinne's numbers have been subpar away from Bridgestone Arena this postseason, and his career numbers in Pittsburgh are horrendous.

If Nashville is going to win the remaining two games, Rinne will have to be at his best, and I'm not quite sure he's capable of that on the road, especially given Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin are playing some of their best hockey.

Believe!

Esten McLaren: Yes.

The Penguins aren't winning a do-or-die Game 6 in Music City during CMA weekend. Pittsburgh fell flat in a 2-1 loss following its 7-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final, so its 6-0 win in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final means little.

Game 7 will return to Pittsburgh, forcing Nashville to be the first team to win a road game in this series. The Predators own a Corsi For rating of 59.26 percent through the first three games in Pittsburgh. It will come down to goaltending, and while Matt Murray has had a significant advantage over Pekka Rinne at PPG Paints Arena, the Preds only need Rinne to be average while continuing to drive play in Pittsburgh's end to make this happen.

Rinne can't possibly be worse, right?

Nope

Josh Gold-Smith: In a word, no.

Sure, the Predators have history on their side with respect to Game 6, and it wouldn't be shocking to see Nashville bounce back with a victory Sunday night, but winning the series is another story.

Given how abysmal Pekka Rinne has been in Pittsburgh, and how his relatively inexperienced backup, Juuse Saros, hasn't been much better, it's hard to see the Predators prevailing in a winner-take-all game on the road if they do force the deciding contest.

Matt Murray has been nearly unbeatable on home ice in this series, so even if the Predators take the next one, they'll be hard-pressed to buck these ominous trends.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

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On the Fly: 3 players we’d love to see as Vegas Golden Knights

In this week's roundtable, we're looking ahead to the Vegas Golden Knights - the 31st NHL franchise, which will officially have a team in three weeks. And if it were up to us, Jaromir Jagr, Kevin Shattenkirk, and Marc-Andre Fleury would be on it.

Jaromir Jagr

Sean O'Leary: This one is likely up to No. 68 himself, but what better place for one of the most popular players in the NHL than the entertainment capital of the world?

Jagr is an unrestricted free agent, and probably doesn't fit in Florida's protection plans. Should he choose to sign a new contract - as he's indicated several times he'd like to - Vegas would be a terrific destination for the ageless wonder.

(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

The 45-year-old is coming off a 46-point season with the Florida Panthers that moved him into second on the all-time scoring list.

A player of his stature would provide entertainment value at the very least. Jagr has never shied away from the bright lights that come with stardom, and his fun-loving attitude could be a perfect match for Sin City.

Kevin Shattenkirk

(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

Josh Gold-Smith: The Golden Knights are surely looking to make a splash, and what better way to do that than by signing one of the biggest fish on the free-agent market?

Shattenkirk will come with a hefty price tag, and he's likely to be more interested in playing for a contender - probably on the East Coast - than an expansion franchise, but Vegas should make a run at him nonetheless.

The consistently productive 28-year-old would give Vegas both a proven power-play quarterback and a player with plenty of playoff experience.

Shattenkirk could anchor the blue line for years, and given the parity we've seen in the NHL recently, it's not inconceivable that he could be a key cog on a team that quickly becomes competitive.

The opportunity to play for an established Cup hopeful is one thing, but the Golden Knights should sell him on having a chance to lead a young club while helping it become a contender in one of America's most exciting cities.

Marc-Andre Fleury

(Photo courtesy: Action Images)

Flip Livingstone: Marc-Andre Fleury's career as a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins will likely come to an end with 375 career regular-season wins, 44 shutouts, and, most importantly, two - maybe three - Stanley Cup rings.

Sure, he plays on the same squad as Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, but regardless, Fleury's a proven goaltender with a winning pedigree - two characteristics the Golden Knights need in their man between the pipes.

Ryan Miller and Mike Condon have also been mentioned as potential options in goal for Vegas, but neither is as playoff-tested or decorated as the Flower.

Stats and track record aside, Fleury can still play at an elite level - he proved that in the playoffs. He'll turn 33 in late November and would offer the Golden Knights the kind of stability in the crease that most expansion teams can only long for.

Fleury's a perfect fit on the strip, and would immediately put Vegas on the hockey map.

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Stanley Cup Final and Conn Smythe predictions

And then there were two.

The Pittsburgh Penguins host the Nashville Predators in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final on Monday night. Excited? You should be.

theScore's NHL editors make their Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe Trophy predictions below.

Stanley Cup Final

Penguins vs. Predators

Editor Pick
Josh Gold-Smith Penguins
Craig Hagerman Predators
Flip Livingstone Penguins
Esten McLaren Predators
Ian McLaren Predators
Sean O'Leary Penguins
Sonny Sachdeva Penguins
Navin Vaswani Penguins
Cory Wilkins Predators
Josh Wegman Penguins
  • It's tight, but we're going 6-4 in favor of the Penguins repeating as champions.

Conn Smythe Predictions

Editor Player
Gold-Smith Evgeni Malkin
Hagerman Pekka Rinne
Livingstone Sidney Crosby
Esten McLaren P.K. Subban
Ian McLaren Rinne
O'Leary Malkin
Sachdeva Malkin
Vaswani Malkin
Wilkins Rinne
Wegman Malkin
  • Five of us are picking Malkin to win his second Conn Smythe Trophy. Geno leads the NHL in playoff scoring with seven goals and 24 points in 20 games.
  • Rinne's the favorite in Vegas, for what it's worth.
  • It's kind of amazing that Crosby, last year's Conn Smythe winner, gets only one vote. His 20 points rank second among all postseason skaters.

Who you got?

Conference finals, overall results

Your hardworking and extremely handsome editors fared pretty well in the third round, thanks to all of us picking Pittsburgh to advance over Ottawa. (Sorry, Senators fans.)

Editor 3rd-round score Overall
Gold-Smith 2/2 8/14
Hagerman 2/2 9/14
Livingstone 1/2 6/14
Ian McLaren 1/2 6/14
O'Leary 2/2 7/14
Sachdeva 2/2 9/14
Vaswani 2/2 9/14
Wilkins 2/2 11/14
Wegman 2/2 9/14
  • Mr. Wilkins is a prophet, and after a respectable 5-for-8 first round, he's been perfect ever since. He's got the the Predators winning the Cup and Rinne the Conn Smythe. So congratulations in advance, Nashville.

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Poll: Which team will win the Stanley Cup?

It's time.

The Stanley Cup Final is upon us, with the puck dropping on Game 1 between the Penguins and Nashville Predators on Monday at 8 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh.

Below, cast your vote on which team you believe will raise the most brilliant trophy in pro sports, and then check out theScore's Stanley Cup Final preview content.

Previewing the series

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On the Fly: 5 unforgettable 2017 playoff moments

In this week's edition of "On the Fly," we're looking back at moments from this year's Stanley Cup Playoffs that have stayed with us through three rounds. And, heads up, Ottawa's featured prominently, because the Senators had a magical few weeks.

MacArthur's moment

Ian McLaren: Nobody expected Clarke MacArthur to play professional hockey again, much less score an overtime playoff goal to propel the Senators into Round 2.

Prior to those Game 6 heroics, it was in Game 2 of Ottawa's series against the Boston Bruins that MacArthur put himself back on an NHL score sheet, netting an opening-period goal that marked his first tally in almost two years.

MacArthur, of course, had been sidelined for most of the past two seasons after a series of concussions put his career in doubt. That he was able to return for Ottawa's postseason run was one thing, but to hit the back of the net on home ice was a special moment, to be sure.

"One of the most special moments I've lived as a coach," Senators head coach Guy Boucher said after the eventual Game 2 overtime win. "When (MacArthur) raised his arms, the whole city raised its arms."

That sentiment surely wasn't limited to Ottawa.

Anaheim's comeback

Flip Livingstone: The wildest third-period comeback of the playoffs was arguably the most controversial, as well.

The Anaheim Ducks scored three goals - all with an empty net - in the final 3:16 of Game 5 of the second round versus the Edmonton Oilers, sending what was a 3-0 contest to overtime. Corey Perry buried the game-winner 6:57 into the second extra frame to give the Ducks a 3-2 series advantage, but it was Rickard Rakell's game-tying goal that everyone was talking about.

Oilers goalie Cam Talbot was forced to try to make saves with two Anaheim players on top of him when Rakell slid in the equalizer, but an Edmonton coach's challenge did not change the call on the ice - good goal.

Edmonton blew a three-goal, third-period lead and wasted a glorious chance to pull ahead in the series - a fact that would end up haunting them only five days later when Anaheim eliminated the Oilers in Game 7.

The last-minute flurry of goals, in-crease controversy, and double-overtime winner all made the game one of the best of the 2017 postseason.

Sorry, Edmonton.

Pageau's 4

Craig Hagerman: If the Senators were a Cinderella story, then Jean-Gabriel Pageau might just have played the titular role.

The speedy forward was a rare source of offense for the Senators this postseason. Nowhere were his exploits more on display than in Game 2 of the second round, when Pageau put the Sens on his back and lifted them to an incredible double-overtime victory over the New York Rangers.

After tallying his second goal of the playoffs midway through the first period, Pageau waited until the dying minutes of regulation to strike again, notching his second of the game with just over three minutes remaining. He completed his hat trick with 62 seconds left and Craig Anderson on the bench, tipping in a Kyle Turris slap shot to tie the game at 5-5 and send it to extras.

In double OT, just under three minutes in, Pageau came in on a 2-on-1 break and shelved a wicked wrister over the catching glove of Henrik Lundqvist, capping off his four-goal outburst in style and bringing the Canadian Tire Centre to a frenzy.

Four shots, four goals.

Not too bad for a player who scored 12 times in 82 regular-season games.

Kadri's shift

Sean O'Leary: Though it's impossible to quantify, momentum is one of those divine elements in sports that you can just feel. It can start with a scoring chance, a save, or - in Nazem Kadri's case in Game 3 of the first round versus the Washington Capitals - a hit.

Trailing 2-0 in the early stages of the Toronto Maple Leafs' first home playoff game in four years, Kadri set out to provide his team a spark by pasting Brooks Orpik into the corner boards, bringing an anxious home crowd to its feet.

Moments later, as Toronto transitioned to the neutral zone, Kadri took another wild run at Orpik, knocking both players on the seat of their pants. As Kadri wandered to the bench for a change, Auston Matthews took his spot, and promptly bagged his first career playoff goal to make it a game - which Toronto ended up winning in overtime. Sports are fun that way.

It was one of those rare moments, when, as an observer, you could feel the energy of the game transitioning between the teams in a huge sequence. It was exactly what makes playoff hockey so exciting.

You can watch Kadri's thundering hits and Matthews' goal here.

Karlsson's ridiculous pass

Josh Wegman: I'll go as far as saying that Erik Karlsson's pass to Mike Hoffman in the first round was the nicest pass in NHL history.

From his own goal line, Karlsson elegantly saucered the puck past multiple Bruins to have it land perfectly on the blue line just as Hoffman was skating by. Watch it - and be wowed - here.

What made the play even more amazing was that Hoffman finished with the one-handed deke that was good enough to land Peter Forsberg on a stamp when he first completed the move in the 1994 Olympics. The fact that Ottawa won the game by a goal cements it as one of the most spectacular plays in NHL postseason history.

(Photos courtesy: Action Images)

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Poll: Which team will win Game 7?

Do or die for a chance to play for the Stanley Cup. It doesn't get much better than that.

Pittsburgh hosts Ottawa in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday night. The Penguins are trying to make it to back-to-back Stanley Cup Finals in their quest to repeat, while the Senators are looking to make their second final in club history (and win the franchise's first Cup).

Here's where things stand after six games:

Team GF GA SF SA SV% PP% PK% FOW%
Penguins 14 11 200 168 .935 27.8% (5-for-18) 94.4% (17-for-18) 49.4%
Senators 11 14 168 200 .930 5.5% (1-for-18) 72.2% (13-for-18) 50.6%

What do you think?

Puck drop is shortly after 8 p.m. ET. You can watch the game on CBC in the north and NBCSN in the U.S.

Winner gets Nashville.

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