Senators seek to extend Penguins' recent miseries
Monday, 01.09.2012 / 10:05 AMSENATORS (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 3 assists. The Senators returned the favor on Dec. 16 in Ottawa when Jason Spezza
had 2 goals and 2 assists and Jared Cowen
connected for 1 goal and 3 assists in a 6-4 victory.
After suffering a fourth straight loss on Saturday -- their longest such streak in over two years -- there's belief the Penguins are finally beginning to crack with the rash of injuries they've sustained this season. The club, which has fallen to eighth in the Eastern Conference, is without Crosby, Kris Letang
, Jordan Staal
, and now leading goal scorer James Neal
. Despite the laundry list of injured players, defenseman 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 2 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 defenseman Erik Karlsson
, who had 1 goal and 1 assist in the victory over Philadelphia on Sunday, continues to lead all defensemen 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 and Neal is out indefinitely with a broken foot suffered in the third period of Saturday's game against the Devils. 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."