Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Penguins Game 14 Preview - vs. Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators

7:00 p.m., CONSOL Energy Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

The Last Penguins Game:
February 10, 2013 - New Jersey 3, Pittsburgh 1 [Recap]

In a season that has so many games packed in so little days you would think it would be hard to find a day or so where you can say "man, it feels like the Penguins haven't played in a while,) but we are at that point. The Penguins haven't played since back-to-back 3-1 losses to the Devils and they will be back on home ice again against a pretty decent Senators team. They were able to get by Ottawa the last time out in late January via the shootout and this time the game will be played at the CONSOL Energy Center where it will be less hostile than playing up at Scotiabank Place.

The Penguins are going to go up against one of the best goaltenders in the league in Craig Anderson tonight. While you hear a ton of talk about a bunch of other goaltenders in the league I don't think anyone is flying under the radar more than Anderson. He enters the game with both a 1.36 goals against average and a .956 save percentage and has played in 11 games already, so this is not a small sample size issue. Anderson was strong last time against the Penguins as he stopped 33-of-34 shots and even though he was scored on all three times in the shootout he was the Senators best player on the ice.

On the other side Marc Andre Fleury will be in net after not playing since Saturday. He has been pretty strong and was about as good as you can expect when the other team has ten power plays but with Anderson in the net on the other side he is going to need to be just as good, if not better, than the last time they played when he stopped 31-of-32 shots.

The Penguins offense has to be better. They only scored two goals over the weekend, against good defensive competition, but they will be up against that today also. It will be interesting to see which offensive team we get to see, the one that scored two goals over the weekend or the one that scored 20 in the previous four games.

Big news today is that both Kris Letang and Matt Niskanen were taken off IR which means that Dylan Reese was sent back down. It will still be a game time decision on who is going to play tonight but with the demotion of Reese that almost guarantees that one of them will play and I wouldn't rule out seeing both of them in the lineup. Unfortunatly that means that either Simon Despres or Robert Bortuzzo is going to have to sit but that is a good problem to have, I guess. If I were to guess on which one is going to play I would say Letang but if they both play it wouldn't be a shock.

Also, this happened:

The Probables:

Penguins (8-5-0)

Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Pascal Dupuis
Zach Boychuk - Evgeni Malkin - James Neal
Matt Cooke - Brandon Sutter - Tyler Kennedy
Tanner Glass - Joe Vitale - Craig Adams

Simon Despres - Kris Letang
Brooks Orpik - Paul Martin
Matt Niskanen - Deryk Engelland
Robert Bortuzzo

Marc Andre Fleury

Senators (7-4-2) (via Daily Faceoff)

Milan Michalek - Mika Zibanejad - Daniel Alfredsson
Colin Greening - Kyle Turris - Jakob Silfverberg
Erik Condra - Zack Smith - Chris Neil
Kaspars Daugavins - Stephane Da Costa - Jim O'Brien

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Mike Lundin - Sergei Gonchar
Chris Phillips - Andre Benoit

Craig Anderson

The Season Series (Pittsburgh leads 1-0)

January 27, 2013 - Pittsburgh 2, Ottawa 1 (SO)

The Stats:

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