Senators at Penguins
The Pittsburgh Penguins vie for their ninth consecutive win at PPG Paints Arena on Tuesday when they open a three-game homestand against the Ottawa Senators. The Penguins' home arena also has been a house of horrors for the Senators, who have dropped nine of 11 meetings since the building opened in 2010 in addition to a double-overtime thriller in last spring's Game 7 of the Eastern Conference final.
Superstar captain Sidney Crosby snapped his 10-game goal drought in style, scoring twice to eclipse the 400-goal plateau in Sunday's 4-1 triumph over St. Louis. "We get points wherever we can. We had a good road trip. We want to follow that up," said Crosby, who has 26 points (five goals, 21 assists) during Pittsburgh's 11-3-1 stretch. While the two-time reigning Stanley Cup champions reside in second place in the congested Metropolitan Division, the Senators sit in second-to-last in the Eastern Conference with the Feb. 27 trade deadline looming on the horizon. "We've brought this on ourselves, this wasn't a stroke of bad luck that made this happen," defenseman Mark Borowiecki said. "The onus is on us here so there's going to be consequences and unfortunately you're going to lose friends and teammates, but it's the nature of the business."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TSN5, RDS (Ottawa), AT&T Sports Network-Pittsburgh
ABOUT THE SENATORS (19-26-9): Ryan Dzingel set up Jean-Gabriel Pageau on a breakaway for the Senators' lone goal in a 3-1 setback versus Pittsburgh on Nov. 16. He also scored his 15th goal of the season in Saturday's 6-3 loss in Toronto to increase his total to six points (one goal, five assists) in his last five games. Coach Guy Boucher took issue with Ottawa's effort against its provincial rival over the weekend, with Monday's practice featuring plenty of one-on-one drills as a means of driving home his point. "I really didn't like the way we came out in Toronto," Boucher said. "It hasn't been a habit in the first period, but we're looking at having guys come out hard. It's going to be a very difficult game (Tuesday)."
ABOUT THE PENGUINS (31-22-4): Riley Sheahan scored a goal for the second straight contest on Sunday to give him seven points (two goals, five assists) in his last eight. "Things are clicking right now, but even if you find yourself in a lull, you've just got to try and keep playing the same way," said the 26-year-old Ontario native, who also scored in the first encounter with Ottawa. Bryan Rust scored and set up a goal versus the Blues to increase his point total to nine (four goals, five assists) in his last nine games.
1. Ottawa G Mike Condon will get the nod on Tuesday, although he sports a 2-7-2 mark with a 3.00 goals-against average on the road.
2. Pittsburgh's NHL-best power play has failed to score in a season high-tying four straight games (Dec. 11-18).
3. The Senators recalled Max McCormick from Belleville of the American Hockey League with fellow F Nate Thompson (lower body) not expected to play versus the Penguins.