Senators seek to extend Penguins' woes
SENATORS (22-15-6) at PENGUINS (21-15-4)
TV: SNET-E, TVA, ROOT (HD)
Ottawa 7-1-2; Pittsburgh 4-6-0
This is the third of four meetings. Pittsburgh prevailed 6-3 at home on Nov. 25 as six Penguins tallied and Sidney Crosby
chipped in three assists. The Senators returned the favour on Dec. 16 in Ottawa, when Jason Spezza
had two goals and two assists and Jared Cowen
totalled one goal and three assists in a 6-4 victory.
After suffering a fourth straight loss on Saturday — their longest such streak in more than two years — there's belief the Penguins are finally beginning to crack with the rash of injuries they've sustained this season. Pittsburgh, which has fallen to eighth in the Eastern Conference, is without Crosby, Kris Letang are Jordan Staal.
However, leading goal scorer James Neal
, who was originally feared to be out long-term with a broken foot, only has a bone bruise and says he's "good to go" tonight. Despite the laundry list of injured players, defenceman Brooks Orpik
"The accountability in this room has to be a lot better," Orpik said following his team's 3-1 loss to the Devils on Saturday. "We aren't reacting to adversity very well right now. You can't feel sorry for yourselves."
The Senators scored four unanswered goals in the third period for a 6-4 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday in Ottawa. It marked the sixth come-from-behind triumph in the third for the Senators, who lead the NHL in that category. Chris Neil
, Erik Karlsson
and Daniel Alfredsson
each had two points, while Colin Greening
and Nick Foligno
had the other goals for the Sens. The Senators are only two points behind Philadelphia for fourth place in the Eastern Conference.
The Devils beat the Penguins for the second time in eight days on Saturday as Ilya Kovalchuk, Adam Henrique and Dainius Zubrus scored goals and goalie Martin Brodeur made 41 saves in a 3-1 decision. During its four-game losing streak, all to Atlantic Division opponents, Pittsburgh has scored a total of five goals. Against the Devils, the Penguins opened a 1-0 lead only to lose it for the third time during its skid. Evgeni Malkin
scored the only goal in the loss. The team was 14-3-3 when scoring first before the losing streak began Dec. 29.
Ottawa defenceman Erik Karlsson
, who had one goal and one assist in the victory over Philadelphia on Sunday, continues to lead all defencemen in the league with 35 assists, 41 points and 152 shots.
The Senators are without forwards Peter Regin
(shoulder) and Jesse Winchester
(concussion) … The Penguins remain without Crosby and Letang, both of whom are recovering from concussion symptoms. Staal left last Friday's loss to the New York Rangers with a knee injury. Forwards Arron Asham
(knee) and Craig Adams
(knee) are also out.
The Senators have played a league-leading 14 overtime games this season —- winning six of their last eight that have extended beyond 60 minutes to improve to 8-6.
"We've had our share [of injuries] this year, definitely, but it happens to other teams too," Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury
said. "You've got to find a way to battle through it and as a team play well and get wins and get points."