Game 71: Penguins Vs. Senators Preview
OTTAWA (KDKA) – The Pittsburgh Penguins will be looking to notch another win against a struggling Canadian team tonight on the road.
The Ottawa Senators own the worst record in the Eastern Conference (25-35-9-59 points), but they are 6-4 in their last 10 games.
Prior to Sunday’s 6-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres, the Senators had won four of their previous five games.
While Penguins fans are concerned over a lack of goal scoring recently, the Senators are having a tougher time lighting the lamp.
They have played seven games in March and have scored a total of 14 goals. To make matters worse, the Senators have only scored 157 goals in 69 games this season. Only the New Jersey Devils have fewer goals (143).
Sophomore standout defenseman Erik Karlsson leads the team with 40 points (12 goals, 28 assists). He’s done the majority of his damage on the power play with four goals and 17 assists this season.
The last time the Penguins met the Senators, Karlsson had two goals and an assist in a 3-1 victory on Dec. 26.
Jason Spezza is having a solid year as well, despite playing in only 49 of the team’s 69 games this season.
His 39 points are good enough for second on the team, but he leads the club with 15 goals.
The Senators were busy around the trade deadline and picked up goaltender Craig Anderson (19-18-3, 2.93 GAA, .909 save percentage) from Colorado.
Since the trade, Anderson is 6-3 with a 1.81 GAA and .946 save percentage. Against the Penguins, Anderson is 2-0-1 with a 1.13 GAA and .959 save percentage.
For Pittsburgh, the dark cloud hovering over the team may finally be lifting. After a lackluster performance against the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, the Penguins responded with a dominating 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday.
Chris Kunitz scored his 19th and 20th goals of the season. It’s the first time Kunitz has hit the 20-goal mark since 2008-09 (23).
In addition to the win, Arron Asham said he hopes to be ready to return to the lineup on Sunday against the New York Rangers. Mike Comrie and Brooks Orpik are continuing to recover. Eric Tangradi was back on the ice Monday.
Then, the biggest news to come out of Pittsburgh yesterday was Sidney Crosby skating for the first time since Jan. 5.
While it was only a brief skate, at minimum it’s a step in the right direction.
Pittsburgh is looking for their third win of the season against the Senators after knocking them out of the playoffs in six games last spring.
Tyler Kennedy is one player that seems to enjoy playing against the Senators. He has seven goals and two assists in 12 career games against Ottawa.
Kennedy contributed three assists against the Oilers and surpassed his previous career-best point total of 35.
He now has 36 points (15 goals, 21 assists) in 68 games this season.
In goal, Marc-Andre Fleury (31-17-5, 2.35 GAA, .918 save percentage) hasn’t had sustained regular season success against Ottawa in his career.
Fleury is 6-8-1 with a 3.64 GAA and .894 save percentage against the Senators.
The puck is set to drop at 7:30 p.m. and can be seen on FSN Pittsburgh.