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Gameday Journal: Game 80 - Penguins vs. Senators

by Craig Medaglia / Ottawa Senators

3:30 PM: And from NHL.com, here's a look at tonight's projected line-ups...

Click to enlarge

PENGUINS

Forwards

David Perron – Sidney Crosby – Patric Hornqvist

Chris Kunitz – Evgeni Malkin – Blake Comeau

Daniel Winnik – Brandon Sutter – Beau Bennett

Nick Spaling – Maxim Lapierre – Craig Adams

Defence

Paul Martin – Ben Lovejoy

Rob Scuderi – Derrick Pouliot

Ian Cole – Taylor Chorney

Goaltenders

Marc-Andre Fleury

Thomas Greiss

Scratched: none


2:15 PM: Get the full rundown on tonight's game against the Pittsburgh Penguins with Sens TV's Pre-Game Report...


12:30 PM: Sens TV has some post-skate comments to pass along prior to tonight's 7:30 p.m. start against the Penguins. Starting first with the coach...

On tonight's line-up:

Hammond is starting in nets. Same line-up. Erik Karlsson took a maintenance day, he's fine.

On the significance of tonight's game:

That's the big challenge now; the number of games left and we're on the outside.

On if the pressure on the Penguins changes anything:

No, I just think it will be a realization that we want to keep the pressure on them by playing our way. We're best when we're on pucks and that pressure forces the other team. At this time of year, when you're either in the playoffs or kind of on that line of being in or out...pressure is part of it.

Reflecting on the team's winning streak:

You just stick to it. Hockey's a funny game. You play and practice the way that gives you the best chance to win and there's no guarantees. Sometimes you play good and you lose, sometimes not so good and you find a way.

On his team this morning:

It's been about the same way as it's been for the past month. It's a single-minded purpose. I think what the winning has done more than anything is show them that if they stick to it, there's a chance.


Starting goaltender Andrew Hammond spoke with the media as well and you can watch his pre-game comments here:


Sens defenceman Cody Ceci also took a few moments to offer up some pre-game thoughts:


12:00 PM: We caught up with Sens centre Kyle Turris after the team's morning skate. Here are some of his pre-game thoughts...

On some of the improvements the team has made recently:

I think we've done a lot better job of collapsing in front of Hammond. They might get a quality shot off from a good scoring area but there won't be a second one. We box guys out and we've done a much better job of collapsing.

On the offence clicking:

I think the chemistry is coming together at the right time. About a month and a half ago, everybody starting getting on the same page and on any given night any of our lines can score.

On Mark Stone's play as of late:

Stone is just so smart. He's got such a good hockey sense and he reads the ice so well. I just try and get open for him and when I have the puck he just seems to find holes to make himself available. He's also so good with his stick and stripping guys of pucks. His stick is so sneaky long that I don't think guys are expecting his reach and being able to pull the puck off them.

On finding energy for all these critical games late in the season:

It's been very emotional. Very draining from the sense that it feels like the past 6 weeks has been playoff hockey. Dave Cameron has done a good job of giving us days off which allows us to regroup and rejuvenate the next day after a game. That's been huge. It's really helped us.

On facing the Penguins tonight:

Anytime you get to play Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins it's always fun. It'd be a fun game without the playoff situation looming so just add that and it's real exciting.


11:40 AM: A quick line-up note to pass along from the coach...


10:40 AM: The boys are on the ice getting prepped for the Pens tonight...

Today's morning skate is underway at CTC as the #Sens get set to host the Penguins tonight at 7:30 p.m.

A photo posted by Ottawa Senators (@senators) on


7:00 AM: The Ottawa Senators get back to action on Tuesday night when they host the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m. Tonight is also Fan Appreciation Night presented by Sport Chek and fans in attendance and engaging on social media are eligible to win more than $100,000 in prizes.

The Sens are coming off a 3-2 road shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night. Erik Karlsson and Mark Stone provided the offence for Ottawa while Andrew Hammond stopped 36 of 38 in defeat. The Sens' record currently sits at 40-26-13 good for 9th in the Eastern Conference just 2 points behind the Penguins, Bruins and Red Wings for the final wildcard playoff spot.

The Penguins travel to Ottawa after a 4-1 road loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in a Sunday matinee. Brandon Sutter scored the lone goal for the Penguins while Thomas Greiss surrendered 4 goals on just 20 shots. Pittsburgh's record now sits at 42-26-11 and as mentioned above they sit in a 3-way tie for the final playoff spot in the East.

This is the third and final meeting between these two teams this season. The Penguins won the most recent contest in a shootout by a score of 5-4 back on February 12th and you can watch the full highlights from that game here...

The Sens will hit the ice for their morning skate today at and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts, Sens TV videos, Instagram goodness and more.

Stay tuned!

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