Pens know significance of Ottawa game
Ask the Penguins’ players about the importance of tonight’s game against the Ottawa Senators and they’re likely to respond that every game is important and has been for the past month.
“I don’t think we look at this one any different,” forward Sidney Crosby said Monday after the team’s practice at Mellon Arena. “I don’t think it changes the way we play.”
Still, tonight’s game is significant, given that the fifth-place Penguins trail the fourth-place Senators by only two points in the Eastern Conference standings. With the Atlantic Division-leading New Jersey Devils ahead of the Penguins by eight points and the Northeast Division-leading Buffalo Sabres ahead of the Senators by 12 points, neither team is likely to win its division. But they will likely continue to jockey for position down the stretch, with 16 games left for the Penguins after tonight and 15 for the Senators. They play each other two more times.
• The Penguins and Senators have met just once this season, resulting in a 6-3 Penguins loss at home Nov. 10.
“They’re obviously a good team,” forward Colby Armstrong said of the Senators. “They gave it to us pretty good the last time we played them a while ago. We’re going to have to have a solid game.”
• Coach Michel Therrien is still looking for chemistry on his forward lines after last week’s trading deadline passed, but one line that will play together tonight is Gary Roberts-Erik Christensen-Michel Ouellet.
“We like the chemistry (Sunday), and we’re going to try to keep that going, and hopefully it’s going to be able to keep it up the same way,” Therrien said. “But there’s no doubt (Roberts and Christensen) together played really well.”
Christensen had two goals, and Roberts had a goal and two assists on Sunday in the 4-3 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
• Defenseman Eric Cairns was at Mellon Arena yesterday and said he is finally starting to feel relief from the post-concussion syndrome symptoms that have plagued him since late November. There is still no timetable for his return, he said.
3 – Games out of the past four in which Sidney Crosby has not registered a point.
2 – Shootout goals Crosby has scored in the last three games.
– Karen Price
is a former freelancer.