GAME DAY REPORT
Katie O'Malley (rocking her red for Heart Awareness!) has all the latest out of Pittsburgh heading into tonight's matchup with the Senators.
LOCKER ROOM INTERVIEWS
Erik Karlsson leads all defensemen in scoring
I wonder if coach MacLean's doppleganger traveled to Pittsburgh for the game
Craig Anderson pitched a shutout in Ottawa's 5-0 blanking of the Pens back in December
Can you spot the puck in this picture?
First-year Sens captain Jason Spezza
Karlsson defending his net
Bobby Ryan has two first names
Sens stretch it out
After playing former Pen Zbynek Michalek on Saturday, Pittsburgh is facing his brother Milan tonight
That's quite a beard
--Michelle Crechiolo and Drew Hancherick
--Michelle Crechiolo and Sam Kasan
Head coach Dan Bylsma said that Kris Letang - who did not participate in the morning skate and has missed the last two games with an ailment - will not be available for tonight's game.
"Kris Letang continues to not feel well and doing further evaluations and tests on him at this point in time," said Bylsma. When asked if there is a concern that what Letang has is serious or long-term, Bylsma replied, "We’re uncertain. So we’re continuing to do some tests on him."
Bylsma also provided a couple of other updates...
- Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal
- The Pens' injured players skated this morning prior to practice.
We also checked in with rookie defenseman Olli Maatta after the morning skate, who was struck in the face with a puck on Saturday in Phoenix. "It’s alright," he said. "I got a few stitches and that’s it."
Maatta had to laugh about his unfortunate puck luck, as that was about the fourth time in the last five days he'd gotten hit in the facial area. "I’ve been having a little bit of a rough time with my face," he smiled ruefully. "Got hit with the puck a few times in a row. It happens sometimes. I hope today it’s not the same thing."--Michelle Crechiolo
Happy happy bort bort
What time is it? It doesn't maatta what time it is!
Glass: Where do baby cows eat? At the calf-ateria
--Sam Kasan & Michelle Crechiolo
MORNING SKATE INFO
The Pens hit the ice for their morning skate. Defenseman Kris Letang, who missed the past two games with an illness, was absent from the skate. The Pens did not do rushes, a change from the normal routine. They did work on the power play.
PP1: Niskanen, Malkin on top. Crosby, Neal, Kunitz down low.
PP2: Martin, Maatta, Jokinen, Gibbons, Sutter down low.
The Pens concluded the first-ever Mothers' Trip this weekend by splitting games in Los Angeles and Phoenix.
Click here for a recap of the trip.
SUPER BOWL PREDICTIONS
Last night the Seattle Seahawks defeated the Denver Broncos, 43-8, to win their first-ever Super Bowl. Prior to the game the Pens made their own predictions. Who got it right?
Full predictions here.
UPDATE: We asked a couple of the guys what they thought of last night's blowout. Here's what they had to say...
Sidney Crosby: It was tough. Seattle’s a good team. You could tell, they were strong and my prediction didn’t really look too good (laughs). It wasn’t even close.
(Watch the video above to see his prediction!)
Brandon Sutter: I didn’t expect it to be quite the way it was, but I guess I was kind of cheering for Seattle so it wasn’t too bad. I probably could have turned it off after halftime. It was pretty slow after that.
PLAYS OF THE WEEK
It's Monday, so that means it's time to take a look back at the best plays from the previous week.
If you're attending tonight's game the fan guide is here. For a scout on the Senators check out Michelle Crechiolo's report below.
START THE DAY
Good morning hockey fans! Tonight the Pens host the Ottawa Senators at CONSOL Energy Center. Only three games remain on the schedule until the Olympic break. Pittsburgh is hoping to finish off strong.
- The Penguins return home to host the Ottawa Senators (TV: ROOT SPORTS; Radio: 105.9 the X) at CONSOL Energy Center.
- The Penguins are 15-1 in their last 16 home games.
- Pittsburgh is 9-3-1 in its last 13 games.
- Tonight the Penguins are hoping to avoid losing back-to-back regulation games for the first time since losing three-straight contests between Nov. 6-13. Since then, the only time the Penguins went back-to-back games without wins was a 0-1-1 stretch from Nov. 23-25.
- The Penguins have won three of the past four meetings against the Ottawa Senators.
- If you include last year’s second-round playoff series between these teams, the Penguins have won seven of nine contests.
Stick tap: Pens PR
Tonight the Pens are promoting healthy heart awareness. They'll pass out a healthy recipe card to fans in attendance, runs PSAs during the game and the team's staff, coaches, executives and broadcasters will all be wearing red ties. Since the team is wearing red to show their support for heart awareness, I'm going to open the day with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who performed at last night's Super Bowl. Here is "Otherside."