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5 Keys: Penguins at Senators, Game 3

Injuries deplete Pittsburgh's lineup; Ottawa coach Guy Boucher wants better puck management

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent


8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports

Best-of-7 series tied 1-1


OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators will try to take advantage of home ice to take the lead in the Eastern Conference Final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

The winner of Game 3 in a series tied 1-1 has an all-time Stanley Cup Playoffs series record of 205-99, including 3-2 this season.

Here are 5 keys for Game 3:


1. Penguins injuries

Defenseman Justin Schultz and forwards Patric Hornqvist and Bryan Rust will not play. Each has an upper-body injury, coach Mike Sullivan said.

Defenseman Trevor Daley, who took part in the morning skate after missing the past four games with a lower-body injury, could replace Schultz. Daley and defenseman Mark Streit each will be a game-time decision, and forward Tom Kuhnhackl, a scratch the past three games, could play based on the morning skate.

Video: Looking at Wednesday's matchup between Pens and Sens


2. Puck management hurting Senators

The Senators went 18:53 without a shot bridging the second and third periods in Game 2.

"We gave them the puck on our breakouts," coach Guy Boucher said. "A lot of pucks thrown when we could have managed it very well, like we did in the first period. In the third period, we just threw pucks away. When you throw pucks away against a good team like that, they're going to take over in your zone and you're running around after that."


3. Less is more

Though there have been a combined four goals scored in the first two games, Senators forward Clarke MacArthur said tight games are Ottawa's best route to victory.

"Maybe not everybody is overly excited about the way games go down, but it's the way we feel we have the best chance to play and win games," MacArthur said. "So far it's tough to argue that for a team like us. At the start of the year you'd never really expect us to be where we are now. This system has obviously helped us get there."

Video: Tom Gulitti discusses the Penguins-Senators series


4. Penguins dominating on faceoffs

Part of the reason the Penguins had the Senators chasing the puck in Game 2 was the way they reversed their performance in the faceoff circle. Center Sidney Crosby must continue to lead the way. He won 12 of 31 (39 percent) in Game 1 and bounced back with a 14-for-21 performance (67 percent) in Game 2.

Overall, the Penguins were 37-for-60 (62 percent) in Game 2.


5. Home-ice advantage

Boucher said the crowd at Canadian Tire Centre is capable of amplifying the good things the Senators do in a game and can give them momentum.

"I think either home or being on the road doesn't change your X's and O's and your game plan," he said. "But in terms of energy, of course, when you do something 'wow' and your crowd is into it, it enhances what you're doing and sometimes makes it look better than it is."

Video: Jaffe and Pang preview Game 3 of the Pens vs. Sens


Penguins projected lineup

Jake Guentzel -- Sidney Crosby -- Conor Sheary

Chris Kunitz -- Evgeni Malkin -- Phil Kessel

Carl Hagelin -- Nick Bonino -- Scott Wilson

Tom Kuhnhackl -- Matt Cullen -- Carter Rowney

Brian Dumoulin -- Ron Hainsey

Olli Maatta -- Trevor Daley

Ian Cole -- Chad Ruhwedel

Marc-Andre Fleury

Matt Murray

Scratched: Mark Streit

Injured: Bryan Rust (upper body), Justin Schultz (upper body), Patric Hornqvist (upper body), Kris Letang (neck)


Senators projected lineup 

Clarke MacArthur -- Kyle Turris -- Mike Hoffman

Bobby Ryan -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Mark Stone

Viktor Stalberg -- Derick Brassard -- Alexandre Burrows

Tommy Wingels -- Zack Smith -- Tom Pyatt

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Fredrik Claesson -- Chris Wideman

Craig Anderson

Mike Condon

Scratched: Ryan Dzingel, Chris Kelly, Ben Harpur, Chris Neil, Colin White, Jyrki Jokipakka, Chris DiDomenico

Injured: Mark Borowiecki (lower body)


Status report

Sullivan didn't rule out the possibility of dressing seven defensemen, depending on Daley's availability. Streit got some work on the first power-play unit at the morning skate. … Stalberg will be a game-time decision. If he plays, it's likely Dzingel will come out.


Who's hot

Malkin has a goal and an assist in the first two games. His 20 playoff points (six goals, 14 assists) lead the NHL. Crosby has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in 10 career playoff games in Ottawa. … Ryan has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past three games. Karlsson leads all defensemen in playoff scoring with 13 points (two goals, 11 assists).

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