Penguins at Senators
The Pittsburgh Penguins squandered an early lead for the second game in a row on Friday in Winnipeg, leading to their first road loss of the season. The Penguins will try to regain the form of their first two games when they travel to Ottawa to take on the Senators on Sunday. Pittsburgh opened the season with a pair of wins on the road, but dropped their home opener 5-2 to Toronto and lost 4-2 to the Jets. Captain Sidney Crosby scored twice in the first period in Winnipeg, but Pittsburgh allowed three goals on 13 shots in the second and let the game slip away.
The Senators suffered their first loss of the season on Friday - 6-4 in Tampa Bay - in what was uncharacteristic of their opening three games, where they allowed a total of two goals. Ben Bishop made his first start of the season against the Lightning, allowing five goals on 30 shots. Ottawa starting goaltender Craig Anderson has been in net for all three of the Senators’ wins and will likely get the start against the Penguins. Ottawa center Kyle Turris leads the team with four goals and is tied with defenseman Erik Karlsson for the team lead with five points.
TV: 5 p.m., ROOT, Sportsnet East, TVA
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (2-2-0): Starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury has split time with offseason signing Tomas Vokoun thus far. Both have a win and a loss, as well as a goals-against average around 3.00, but Vokoun holds the edge in save percentage with .908 to Fleury’s .882. Crosby and reigning Hart Trophy winner Evgeni Malkin are tied for the team lead with five points, while James Neal leads the club with 22 shots and has three goals. Chris Kunitz, who has three points, leads the team with 15 hits.
ABOUT THE SENATORS (3-1-0): Karlsson, who won the Norris Trophy last season as the league’s best defenseman, leads the team with 17 shots and is plus-6. Jason Spezza, who had a team-high 84 points last season, has four points. Captain Daniel Alfredsson has three assists so far and is 15 points away from reaching 1,100 in his career. Milan Michalek hasn’t scored since Ottawa’s season-opener but has points in all four games so far.
1. Ottawa rookie G Robin Lehner was sent to the American Hockey League this week after watching the Senators’ first two games from the press box. He may see time in the NHL soon after Bishop’s less-than-stellar debut, however.
2. The Senators won three of four games against Pittsburgh last season, including both games in Ottawa - which they won by a combined score of 14-8.
3. Pittsburgh and Ottawa met each other in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs on three occasions from 2007-2010. The Senators won the first series in 2007, but the Penguins swept in 2008 and won in six games in 2010.
PREDICTION: Senators 5, Penguins 4