|PIT||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||2|
|OTT||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
GAME: Pittsburgh Penguins (17-39-12) at Ottawa Senators (46-15-6).
TIME: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Ottawa Senators have done just fine since rookie goaltender Ray Emery replaced the injured Dominik Hasek.
Emery looks to continue his solid play since the Olympic break when Ottawa hosts the last-place Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Senators are 9-1-1 since the break and Emery has been in goal for all 11 of those games. He's posted a 1.99 goals-against average, .926 save percentage and two shutouts as Ottawa has allowed more than three goals only once in that stretch.
The 23-year-old goaltender stopped 22 shots and Ottawa got second-period goals from Dany Heatley, Patrick Eaves and Antoine Vermette in beating New Jersey 4-0 on Sunday.
"We're in a battle with Buffalo for the top spot in the (Northeast) division and with Carolina for top spot in the (Eastern) conference," Emery said. "It's an exciting time of the year. With those teams not slipping up very much, we can't afford to either. We've been playing really solid since the break and I thought we were really patient tonight."
Emery faced 13 shots from New Jersey's top line of Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta in recording his third shutout of the season.
"He's a very challenging guy who is very athletic," Senators defenseman Zdeno Chara said of Emery. "He grabbed his opportunity. Dominik is out and he's obviously now our No. 1 goalie. Ray is going to get a lot of games and he's going to feel confident going into the playoffs."
Hasek, who was hurt during the Turin Games, remains out indefinitely with a groin injury.
The Senators have averaged nearly four goals a game since the Olympic break. Heatley has five goals and 10 assists over that span, while Jason Spezza has four goals and nine assists.
Both Heatley and Spezza have five-game point streaks, with Heatley recording three goals and six assists and Spezza notching two goals and seven assists.
Ottawa has outscored Pittsburgh 16-7 in winning all three matchups this season and has eight victories, a tie and an overtime loss in the last 10 meetings.
Pittsburgh has three wins in its last five games overall after posting just three in its previous 24 contests. The Penguins beat Montreal 5-4 on Saturday before losing 1-0 to Toronto Sunday.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury made several spectacular saves and stopped 22 shots, but Toronto's Chad Kilger beat him near the left post on a penalty shot with 6:51 remaining.
The penalty shot was called when Kilger cut across the middle to attempt a backhand on Fleury and Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi tripped him.
"I believe that was a horrible call, but there's nothing we can do," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "I don't think it was a clear breakaway. I didn't believe that. Interpretation is always different. It was a tough night. The referees were tough on us."
STANDINGS: Penguins - 46 points, 5th place, 42 PB, Atlantic Division. Senators - 98 points, 1st place, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Penguins - Sidney Crosby, 31 goals, 44 assists and 75 points; Brooks Orpik, 112 PIM. Senators - Heatley, 39 goals and 86 points; Spezza, 54 assists; Chris Neil, 159 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Penguins - Power play: 18.0 percent (76 for 421), 15th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.2 percent (351 for 449), 30th. Senators - Power play: 20.5 percent (82 for 400), 3rd. Penalty killing: 86.2 percent (349 for 405), 2nd.
GOALTENDERS: Penguins - Fleury (10-23-5, 1 SO, 3.22 GAA); Sebastien Caron (6-6-4, 4.29). Senators - Emery (18-5-2, 3, 2.61); Mike Morrison (10-4-2, 2.83).
SEASON SERIES: Senators, 3-0.
LAST MEETING: March 1; Senators, 4-3. At Pittsburgh, Daniel Alfredsson and Heatley scored as the Senators built a four-goal lead before holding on.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Penguins - 8-20-5 on the road; Senators - 25-6-1 at home.
|Mar 21 '06||PIT 2 at OTT 5||C. Kelly|
|Mar 01 '06||OTT 4 at PIT 3||D. Heatley|
|Feb 06 '06||PIT 2 at OTT 5||B. Smolinski|
|Feb 02 '06||OTT 7 at PIT 2||Z. Chara|