Penguins Game Day (Game 5: Senators)
The Penguins travel to Ottawa to take on the the Senators in the first of 3 meetings this season. Last year the Penguins fell to the Sens in three of the four meetings, being outscored 19-9 in those contests. Ottawa was a team that surprised everyone last year, making a strong push in the regular season to squeeze in to the Playoffs as the eighth seed, but lost to the New York Rangers in the first round.
Game Time: 5:00pm est
The Penguins are coming in to this game after a very tough loss against the Winnipeg Jets on Friday night, where the Penguins dominated the first 20 minutes but fell apart in the final 40. It is important for the Penguins to get off to a fast start again tonight, as the Senators are not a team to be taken lightly. Fleury gets the nod in net today, as Vokoun has a bad history with playing against the Senators.
Daniel Alfredsson and Jason Spezza continue to lead the Senators, and have done so pretty well over the last two years. Erik Karlsson seems to be building off of his Norris Trophy winning season last year and is leading the team in points so far with 3 goals and 5 points (Turris also has 5 points for the team). Craig Anderson will get the start for the Senators as he looks to build off of his success from last season, and help lead the team into the Playoffs again.
What to Look For.
Evgeni Malkin was completely stoned against the Jets, look for Geno to continue pushing and make an impact tonight .
Erik Karlsson vs. Kris Letang. Are these the two best defensemen in the game, which one has a better shot at the Norris this year?
Crosby loves playing in Canada, and after scoring two goals in Winnipeg I expect him to continue his tear through Ottawa tonight. Hopefully for the Senators sake the fans don’t start chanting “Mario’s Pool Boy”.
Daniel Alfredsson is still going at 40 years old, and is still very capable at putting the puck in the net, especially if he gets very little space.
Turnovers, the Penguins have lost two straight games because of poor puck management, if they continue playing like this it’s going to be a long season for this team. Look for them to simplify the game a bit, and carry the puck a bit more than they have been.
Sarge! Gonchar seems to become a fan favorite no matter where he plays, From Washington to Boston, or Pittsburgh to Ottawa, he is a player that brings a great veteran presence. He is still a very capable Defensemen on the Powerplay and is a huge reason why both Kris Letang and Erik Karlsson are where they are in their careers.
The Penguins have dropped off since their first two games of the season, and it appears that they are still a work in progress, I am not a fan of Kennedy on his off wing with Malkin, and the defense has been jumping up way too much, add those with the poor puck management and its obvious the shortened training camp has affected this team. The Senators keep their game simple, they support each other very well along the boards and are capable of rushing the puck as well as any team in the league. The biggest hole on the Sens is the fact that Erik Karlsson co leads the team in scoring, for them to continue being successful their offense will need to step up and start putting the puck in the back of the net.
Unfortunately tonight I feel the Sens are going to be too much of a challenge for the Pens, I am not comfortable with the way Bylsma has been coaching this team, and Ottawa appears to be playing very solid hockey so far this year in may be too much for Pittsburgh to handle.
Ottawa 4 – 2