|Sidney Crosby, who participated in the pre-game skate this morning, leads the Pittsburgh Penguins into their final regular-season game against the Senators at Scotiabank Place tonight, starting at 7 p.m. Photo: OSHC|
by Todd Anderson
Phenom Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins will make their final visit to Scotiabank Place tonight at 7 p.m. While only 18, Crosby is still the main focus for Ottawa Senators defenders as the rookie currently stands 11th in NHL scoring with 75 points.
"He's got skill and speed, and obviously he can score goals," Sens defenceman Zdeno Chara says. "There's no such thing as an easy two points anymore, we have to be ready to play."
While the Penguins find themselves 52 points behind the Senators in the standings, coach Bryan Murray agrees with Chara's warning that Ottawa has to be wary of the underdogs' work ethic.
"I watched (Pittsburgh's game against Toronto on Saturday) and I thought they played really hard," Murray says. "Michel (head coach Therrien) has got them playing systematic hockey now, especially defensively. And of course, we have to pay attention to Crosby. I expect a very competitive game."
Ottawa will be without centres Jason Spezza, who suffered a hip pointer injury against the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, and Mike Fisher, who is out after suffering a right ankle sprain against the Boston Bruins last week. Spezza says although he played against New Jersey on Sunday, things didn't feel right.
"I'm a little banged up. I'll take tonight off and give it a few days rest. If I'm not 100 per cent at this time of year, there's no point in playing."
World junior bid
It was announced today that Ottawa Senators and Scotiabank Place owner Eugene Melnyk will serve as chair of a committee bidding to host the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championship in Ottawa. For more information or to pledge your support for the bid, visit www.2009WJHC.com.
Roger's House Telethon
The third annual Roger's House Telethon presented by Home Hardware will be held tonight in conjunction with the Roger's Sportsnet broadcast of the Senators and Penguins game. The telethon will be on the air at 6:30 p.m., and there will be updates during the game and intermissions, and during an extended post-game show.
Donations can be made by calling toll-free at 1-877-78-ROGER (76437) and through any Bell Mobility cellular phone at #SENS (7367).