PENGUINS AT SENATORS
(Best-of-seven series tied, 1-1)
The Penguins raised their level of intensity and were better in the offensive zone in Game 2, which allowed them to win. Can the Senators return serve on home ice?
Ottawa nearly took the first two games of this series without any significant offensive contribution from its three best forwards -- Jason Spezza
, Daniel Alfredsson
and Mike Fisher. The threesome has 5 assists and just seven shots in the first two games. Alfredsson didn't have a shot in Game 1, and Fisher and Spezza were held shot-less in Game 2.
Senators coach Cory Clouston didn't single any player out, but it's hard to believe Ottawa can win this series without more from those three.
"We need more from everybody," Clouston told the team's website. "We can't rely on one or two guys. … If you want to umbrella the first two games, everyone needs to step it up a little it."
People still are talking about Sidney Crosby
's remarkable Game 2 performance, featuring his semi-hat trick -- scoring a goal, setting up a goal and diving into his own crease to prevent a goal.
"He plays so hard on both ends of the ice," Jordan Staal
told NHL.com. "He's a player that you count on. You love to have him on your team at any time. The things he does defensively and offensively are scary. I'm glad he's on my team."
Added coach Dan Bylsma: "He elevated his game again. … You see it go to a different level and it's tough not to be a spectator when you see the shift he has on the play which led to the (Kris) Letang goal. We watched it today on TV today right before we had our meeting to talk to our players and we were all being spectators watching it again."
Letang's game-winning goal in Game 2 was his first in 30 games, dating back to Jan. 5.
Senators rookie Peter Regin
has first-period goals in each of the first two games of the series. He had 7 first-period goals in 75 regular-season games.
Penguins defenseman Jordan Leopold won't play in Game 3 due to the aftereffects of the Andy Sutton hit that knocked him out of Game 2. Jay McKee will replace him in the lineup, and the Pens called up defenseman Ben Lovejoy
from their AHL affiliate.
The Senators are fully healthy except for the long-term injuries to Milan Michalek
(knee), Alexei Kovalev (knee) and Filip Kuba
History says the Penguins would have been fine even if they had lost Game 2. Twice in last year's run to the Stanley Cup they fell behind 0-2 in a series -- in the conference semifinals against Washington, and in the Stanley Cup Final against Detroit.
The Penguins were pretty angry after Sutton's hit on Leopold, but according to Maxime Talbot, the best revenge isn't chasing Sutton around looking for vengeance.
"The best revenge that we can have is to win the game," Talbot told the team's website. "We always use the mentality of a pack of wolves in the dressing room, so whatever happens, I'm sure we'll be there. But the most important thing is to win some hockey games."