Penguins-Senators Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 26, 2013
After their offense keyed consecutive victories to open the season, the Pittsburgh Penguins' poor defense has led to back-to-back defeats. The Penguins likely have to tighten things up Sunday night when they visit the Ottawa Senators, one of the highest-scoring teams in the Eastern Conference through the first week. Playing on the road for the fourth time in its first five games, Pittsburgh (2-2-0) looks to come out of its difficult season-opening stretch with a winning record. The Penguins and Senators have picked up where they left off after ranking first and fourth, respectively, among the NHL's top goal-scoring clubs last season. Pittsburgh has scored 13 through four games, including nine in road victories over Philadelphia and the New York Rangers to begin the year. The Penguins, however, will try to improve defensively to avoid a third straight loss after allowing nine goals in their last two contests. Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury is expected to get the start at Ottawa, where he has a 3-4-0 record with a 4.28 goals-against average in seven career starts. Fleury had 26 saves in a 3-1 victory over the Flyers before giving up five goals in a 5-2 loss to the visiting Maple Leafs on Wednesday. He's shared time with Tomas Vokoun, who hasn't fared much better at Ottawa with a 4.29 GAA in his last four there. "(Ottawa) is a skilled group," defenseman Kris Letang said. "We have to be aware and we have manage the puck better." Pittsburgh will have to find a way to contain the high-scoring Senators (3-1-0), who have 15 goals and average the second-most shots per game (36.8) among all East teams. Center Kyle Turris has four goals to lead the Senators, while defenseman Erik Karlsson has three and two assists. Jason Spezza has scored in each of the last two games and was a big reason Ottawa won last season's series with Pittsburgh. He went pointless in the first meeting, won by the Penguins, but had four goals and four assists in the final three as the Senators won them all. After three straight wins to open the season, the Senators open a three-game homestand with starting goalie Craig Anderson back between the pipes as they look to bounce back from their first loss. Backup Ben Bishop, making his first start of the season, allowed five goals in a 6-4 loss at Tampa Bay on Friday. "We're just like everyone else, we're trying to find some consistency in our game," coach Paul MacLean said. Anderson, though, has shined with a 0.67 GAA in his three wins. He's 3-2-1 with a 2.67 GAA in seven career starts against the Penguins. He'll have to deal with Pittsburgh star Sidney Crosby, who has started to heat up with three goals and an assist in his last two after scoring twice in a 4-2 loss at Winnipeg on Friday. While Crosby has nine points in his last five matchups with Senators, Evgeni Malkin has 10 goals in his past 10 games against them. The Penguins will try to get their power play hot again, having converted 1 of 6 chances in the last two games after going 4 for 8 in the first two. That may be a difficult task against Ottawa, which has killed 15 of 18 short-handed situations.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Matt Barnes on Derek Fisher chants: ‘I’m sick of that s—’

Brent Musburger admits he once bet on a game he broadcasted

Jeff Hornacek: Knicks will run triangle ‘exclusively’ next season

Reese Witherspoon to speak to women’s gathering at NFL owners meetings

Doug Gottlieb will interview for Oklahoma State job

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Aaron Hernandez trial put on hold as jury questioned about Reddit-related comment

Conor McGregor has punishment for epic UFC 202 press conference changed

Mauricio Ortega may avoid criminal charges for memorabilia thefts

John Calipari signs two-year contract extension with Kentucky

NFL COO: Oakland stadium ‘has life safety issues’

Nets should go all-in on stealing Kentavious Caldwell-Pope from Pistons

The 'Duke schadenfreude season came early this year' quiz

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Box Score 3/22: Team USA is heading to the championship

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

Box Score 3/21: WBC semis are bat-flipping fun

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

NBA Western Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

MLB players most likely to break out in 2017

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The Aesthetic: The world of player exclusive sneakers

Which Sweet 16 team should you be rooting for?

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Steph Curry pushes OKC's buttons

Lingering issues for each 2016 MLB postseason team

The 'With teammates like this, who needs rivals?' quiz

Re-ranking the Sweet 16 for the NCAA Tournament

What you need to know for the World Baseball Classic semis

Eastern Conference bottom feeders to watch down the stretch

Eat, Drink, Watch: A weekend of March Madness and more

The 'Who will ruin your glorious bracket this year?' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker