-First things, first, the Penguins get a big break today as Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson will miss the game due to an illness. He will be replaced in the lineup by Guillaume Latendresse.
-So... you'll only have to deal with this Alfredsson picture once today:
-We know you're crushed.
-Tanner Glass is expected to be a game-time decision. He crashed violently into the offensive end boards in Winnipeg Friday night. If he can't go, the Penguins will give Dustin Jeffrey a go on the right wing on the third line.
-Hopefully for their sake, the Penguins have gotten over the turnover bug they seemed to catch against the Maple Leafs and Jets. Their sloppiness with the puck did them in the past two games.
-Having Evgeni Malkin play a smart game would be helpful too. His lack of discipline was a turning point against the Jets when he hooked Nik Antropov after an offensive zone turnover.
-Senators goaltender Craig Anderson comes into this game red-hot with a .976 save percentage. The Penguins won't get any leaky goals behind him.
-The Senators are dealing with a big injury on the blue line. Jared Cowen, who had a strong rookie season in 2011-12, is out for the season due to a hip ailment. The bottom pairing of Mark Borowiecki and Andre Benoit is hardly Norris Trophy material. The Penguin need to find a way to get some of their top players on the ice when those two are skating.
-Some secondary scoring would be nice for the Penguins. They have gotten little from their third or fourth lines this season.
-Dan Bylsma goatee update: He entering Ray Ferraro territory:
-Glass will play.
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Paul Martin, Brooks Orpik and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Robert Bortuzzo, Simon Despres and Dustin Jeffrey.
-The Senators' starters are Guillaume Latendresse, Jakob Silfverberg, Kyle Turris, Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot and Craig Anderson.
-Their scratches are Daniel Alfredsson and Patrick Wiercioch.
18:20: Jason Spezza pounds a heavy slapper from the right half wall. Fleury kicks it out with a big rebound out of the Penguins' zone.
18:08: Spezza floats a wrister from the right half wall towards the cage. Fleury absorbs it.
17:02: Turris rushes up the left wing with the puck on his backhand. He tries to feed a pass to Silfverberg in the slot but Niskanen is there all the way and pokes the puck away. Nice stick on puck.
16:56: Off an offensive zone faceoff win, Gonchar booms a one-timer from the left point. Fleury boots it out with a "thud."
15:58: Tyler Kennedy takes a pass from James Neal in the neutral zone and whips a wrister on net. Anderson steers it away easily.
15:03: Bill Gates gets a first-hand view of the Senators' all-star glass crew as they fix a broken pane:
-Also, Deryk Engelland, hockey player:
14:22: The Penguins get the first power-play of the day as Spezza is nabbed for hooking Malkin in the neutral zone. Crosby, Kunitz, Malkin, Neal and Kris Letang take the ice.
13:29: Malkin turns a puck over in the offenisve zone. Kaspars Daugavins flips it down ice for a change.
12:43: Paul Martin has a slapper from the right point blocked by Borowiecki.
12:17: As the power-play expires, Kennedy rips a wrister from the right circle. It hits a body in front. The rebound is absorbed into a mass of humanity in the Ottawa crease and play is halted.
11:59: Sergei Gonchar used to be a Penguin:
11:32: Milan Michalek races up the right wing and fires a wrister. Brooks Oprik keeps pace with him and blocks the shot.
11:22: Spezza snaps off a wrister from the slot. It hits a body in front an deflects away.
10:15: After a turnover by Engelland behind his own net, Chris Phillips booms a slapper from the left point. It hits a stick and hops into the crease. Fleury scrambles to locate it. The Penguisn manage to keep it out. Scary moment there.
8:09: Crosby leaves a drop pass for Kennedy in the slot. Kennedy tries to rip a wrister but fans on the shot. He recovers the puck and tries to feed a pass to Dupuis above the crease but can't connect.
7:32: Crosby enters the offensive zone with speed in the slot and deals a pass to Dupuis on his right wing. Dupuis pounds a slapper on net. Anderson is square to the shot and eats it up.
6:30: Zack Smith forces a bad pass from the right wal of his own zone. Malkin picks it off in the neutral zone, pushes it up the boards and muscles by Smith. From the right circle, he deals a pass to Neal in the left circle. Neal rips a one-timer by a helpless Anderson on the glove side. What a lethal shot. Eric Tangradi, getting a shift on that line, helped out on that play by driving to the net. Malkin gets the only assist. Penguins 1-0.
5:24: The Penguins get another chance on the power play as Silfverberg is nabbed for slashing Crosby's stick behind the net. He pretty much lumberjacked it in half. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz and Letang take teh ice.
5:17: Off a faceoff win, Letang chops a one-timer from above the left circle. Erik Condra blocks it.
3:30: Brandon Sutter tries to jam in a backhander from the doorstep but can't handle the puck cleanly.
3:21: As the Silfverberg minor expires, Malkin lifts a wrister from above the left circle. Anderson fights it off.
3:06: Silfverberg wheels around from the left corner and rips a wicked wrister from the left circle. Fleury just gets a piece of it with his blocker.
3:05: Malkin is sent to the penalty box for interference after hitting Smith away from the puck and is called for int. Hard to imagine that call being made in the postseason. It's a legit call by the book though. Adams, Cooke, Letang and Orpik take the ice.
2:41: Gonchar takes a pass at the right point, moves in bit and hammers a slapper. Fleury challenges and eats up the puck above his crease.
2:40: Crosby hops over the boards to take a defensive zone faceoff on the penalty kill.
1:27: Erik Karlsson, the defending Norris Trophy winner, has a one-timer from the left point blocked by Adams.
1:05: Malkin's minor is killed. Not much going on there for Ottawa.
0:42: Another penalty. Gonchar holds up Malkin at the Penguins' blue line. Malkin fell down a little too easily. The Penguins get a chacne on power play late in the period. Malkin, Crosby, Kunitz, Letang and Neal take the ice.
0:47: The Michaleks are brothers:
0:05: Neal loses the puck on the left wing boards and makes an ill-advised poke check at it which ends up sending Condra off on a breakaway. Condra moves in on net. Letang manages to chase him down and forces a bad shot which hops over the cage. Neal owes Letang a beer.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Senators 0.
-Things were a little sloppy that period for the Penguins, but most of their errors seemed to take place in the offensive zone. We suppose that's better than defensive zone errors.
-Looks like Dan Bylsma has the Michel Therrien Memorial Line Machine out again as he's mixing and matching lines.
-The third defensive pairing of Engelland and Ben Lovejoy had a few sloppy turnovers.
-We thought Niskanen and Letang were really strong in their own zone.
-Kyle Turris looks dangerous. He looks like he could do some damage tonight.
-Karlsson had a really quiet period.
-The Penguins' power play looked rather ineffective. At least the first unit did. There's not a ton of structure. The second unit looks pretty solid however.
-Neither goaltender was tested a great deal.
-The Senators have a 12-10 lead in shots.
-Kennedy and Gonchar each lead the game with three shots.
-Fire Ray Shero.
-The Senators have a 15-12 lead in faceoffs (56 percent).
-Spezza is 7 for 11 (64 percent).
-Sutter is 4 for 6 (67 percent).
-Oprik leads the game with three blocked shots.
-No one has more than one.
-What's up with Root Sports using the control room backround for their studio stuff. Did they rent out that river-front studio they normally use for Penguis and Pirates broadcasts?
20:00: The Penguins will have 1:18 of power-play time on fresh ice. Crosby, Malkin, Neal, Kunitz and Letang take the ice.
19:28: Letang tries a shot/pass from the right point wide on the near side. Crosby is positioned to the right of the cage and attempts to re-direct it on net. Anderson manages to fight it off. That looked like that re-direction play Crosby used a bunch in 2010-11:
18:42: The Gonchar minor is killed. The Penguins had little going on there.
17:25: Gonchar chucks a wrister on net from the top of the point. Fleury locates it through traffic and eats it up.
16:42: Crosby hustles behind the cage, steals a puck off Karlsson and deals a quck pass to Dupuis to the left of the cage. Dupuis jabs a quick shot on net. Anderson is in place and fights off the shot. Karlsson owes him a beer.
16:25: Karlsson booms a slapper from the right point. Fleury punches it away.
15:58: Kennedy is absolutely dumped in the neutral zone by Borowiecki.
15:15: The Penguins are mixing up their defensive pairings. Letang is working with Orpik.
15:07: That new faceoff rule strikes. Condra tries to beat Sutter on an offensive zone draw and swats the puck with his hands. That's two minutes for a faceoff violation. Crosby, Malkin, Kunitz, Letang and Neal take the ice.
13:59: Letang holds a puck in at the blue line and drives a slapper on net from the top of the slot. Anderson gloves it.
13:36: Dupuis and Borowiecki race after a puck in the right wing corner. Borowieck crashes into the boards hunched over and face-first. That's two minutes for boarding. Four on four for 26 seconds.
13:07: The Condra minor expires. The Senators will have a power-play for 1:34.
12:51: Glass steals a puck at the Penguins' blue line and calmly slides it down to the Senators' zone to get a line change.
12:13: Karlsson fumbles a puck at the left point. Cooke steals it off him and is off on a breakaway. he glides in on net without a challenge and goes forehand. Anderson sticks with im and holds out the shot with his right leg.
11:40: Spezza booms a one-timer from the left circle. Fleury eats it up.
11:36: The Dupuis minor expires. Not much going on for Ottawa.
11:11: Chris Neil lifts a wrister from the left circle. Fleury is above his crease and eats it up.
10:30: Matt Niskanen has not recorded any ice time since there was 43 seconds left in the first period.
9:36: Methot appears to get away with a trip on Neal in the right wing corner of the Ottawa zone.
9:28: Silfverberg snaps off a wrister from the right wing. Engelland goes stick on puck and deflects the shot out of play.
9:16: Lovejoy recovers a rebound in his own zone and leads a rush to the Ottawa zone. He deals to Craig Adams on the
9:09: Adams appears to get away with a boarding hit against Andre Benoit.
8:54: Lovejoy slides a point-to-point pass to Orpik on the left point. Orpik puts a shot on net. Anderson punches it away.
6:32: After some hard work by Martin and Lovejoy in the left wing corner of the ir own zone,
6:16: After Malkin misplays a puck in the neutral zone, Spezza races up the left wing on a partial two-on-one. He rips a wrister on net from the left circle. Fleury makes the initial save. Colin Greening is able to muscle by a backcheck from Neal and punches it by a scrambling Fleury. Just another inexcusable sloppy play by the reigning MVP. Spezza and Michalek get assists. Penguins 1, Senators 1.
4:40: As Neil drives to the net with Orpik, Condra lifts a wrister from the left circle. Fleury knocks it down and covers.
4:00: Lovejoy pops a one-timer from the left point wide of the cage.
1:44: After Dupuis forces a turnover by Karlsson on the right wing boards, Crosby takes the puck and rips it on net. Anderson eats it up. Karlsson owes Anderson another beer.
0:20: Off a neutral zone steal by Malkin, Neal is swats a one-timer off the mark from the slot.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Senators 1.
-This has a next-goal-wins feel to it. There aren't a ton of quality scoring chances and each goaltender has been sharp.
-Evgeni Malkin's struggles continue. He had a bad pass to Neal which led to a turnover then missed a potential steal of his own. Those mistakes directly led to the Senators' lone goal. He has to be better.
-The Penguins' defense is going to get gassed with Niskanen seemingly done for the day. Engelland and Lovjeoy are going to have to play a lot more minutes than they're used to.
-Karlsson is having a horrible game. He has to be better for Ottawa. Way too many turnovers.
-The Penguins' third line continues to be quiet.
-The Penguins' power play has been less than impressive.
-The Penguins have a 23-21 lead in shots.
-Letang, Spezza and Gonchar each lead the game with four shots.
-Fire Ray Shero.
-Martin, who has had a strong game, leads the game with 18:27 of ice tme.
-Methot leads Ottawa wth 15:30.
-Faceoffs are tied, 23-23 (50 percent).
-Spezza is 11 for 18 (61 percent).
-Sutter is 6 for 9 (67 percent).
-Orpik already has seven blocked shots.
-Methot leads Ottawa with two.
-As spotted by Root Sports' Dan Potash, Eric Tangradi is showing of what might be his most impressive footwork of the season by riding an exercise bike in skates:
17:43: On a delayed penalty, Martin pulls a Bobby Orr spin move at the right point, coast up the right wing and backhands a puck to the crease. A Senators player touches it play is halted. Benoit is called for holding Glass behind the Ottaw net. Neal, Kunitz, Crosby, lLetang and Malkin take the ice.
16:40: Neal falls at the right point and loses the puck. A Senators defender chips it down ice. The Penguins can't even get it set up in the zone.
15:36: Kennedy snaps off a wrister from the left boards as the power play expires. It hits a body and deflects wide.
14:45: Tangradi is on the ice with Cooke and the great Joe Vitale.
14:38: Glass is on with Malkin and Neal.
13:50: From the left corner of the offensive zone, Neal deals a pass to Malkin the slot
13:36: Lovjeoy snaps off a wrister from the left point which is off the mark.
13:31: Malin daels a pass to Glass battling above the blue paint. Glass chops it on net but Turris puts his stick in on the shot and deflects it wide.
13:20: Anderson freezes a puck against the left post. Glass whacks at it a few times and draws the ire of Anderson who swats Glass with this stick. Great shift by Glass. He did a lot of the dirty work on that shift to creat things for Malkin and Neal. Coming back from commercial, Root Sports shows the play Niskanen could have been potentially injured on as Michalek appeared to trip him up along the boards in the first period.
12:23: Off a pass from Tangradi, Adams lifts a wrister from the left wing. Anderson fights it off.
11:57: Tangradi steals a puck in the neutral zone, barges into the offenisve zone and booms a slapper on net. Anderson kicks it out.
11:23: Peter Regin glides up the left wing and whistles a wrister on net. Fleury eats it up.
10:55: Karlsson whips a wrister from a sharp angle on the left corner of the Penguins' zone. Fleury hugs the post but alllows the puck to sneak through. It slowly slides over the goal line but comes to a stop about halfway over. A brief review confirms the no-goal call on the ice. The Penguins dodged one there.
10:32: According to Potash, Niskanen has a "lower-body" injury and is questionable to return.
10:05: Karlsson snaps off wrister from the right point. it hit sa stick and bounces just wide to the far side.
9:29: Regin challenges Martin with speed but looses the puck on a nice stick on puck by Martin.
8:05: Kennedy is back on with Sutter and Cooke.
7:39: After a neutral zone turnover by Sutter, Condra booms a shot from the left circle. Fleury fight sit off with his glove hand.
7:30: Phillips fires a slapper from the left point. Fleury eats it up.
6:18: After Malkin lifts the stick of a defender at the Penguins' blue line, he chugs up the right wing on a three-on-one against Phillips. Malkin elects to shoot and clinks a wrister off the far post. Great play by Malkin to ceate that chance.
5:14: As he heads to the bench, Malkin appers to get tied up with Neil. No penalties.
4:17: Latendresse attempts to corrals a loose puck off the end boards and backhand it in by Fleury's left skate but Fleury is able to stretch to his left and keep out the puck.
3:16: Gonchar booms a one-timer from the top of the slot wide of the cage.
2:47: The Penguins take a time out following an icing call.
2:23: Adams aboslutely slams Smith into the end boards behind the Ottawa net and drops him.
1:45: After some furious battles behind the Penguins' net, Greening tries to jam in a forehand chance but Fleury's left skate says no.
1:29: Michalek appears to shoot an off-speed shot form the slot. Fleury falls to his left and gloves it.
1:04: Karlsson rushes into the offensive zone and firs a slapper over the cage from the left circle.
0:39: A deflected puck bounces to Karlsson above the left circle. As Sutter lays down to block the shot, Karlsson booms a rising slapper over the cage. Sutter forced him to shoot high.
0:00: End of period. Penguins 1, Senators 1.
-That was as intense of a regular season third period as you'll ever see.
-Shots are tied, 29-20.
4:25: Karlsson chops a one-timer from the right circle. It appears to hit a Penguins stick and deflects wide.
4:16: Methot pops a rising slapper from the left point. Fleury snags it.4
4:03: Lovejoy goes in deep on the right wing and puts a slapper on net from a bad angle. Anderson steers it away.
2:50: Using Methot as a screen, Sutter snaps off a wrister from above the right circle. Anderson eats it up.
2:42: Off an offensive zone faceoff by Crosby, Engelland lifts a wrister from the left circle which hits Anderson in the chest. Anderson eats it up.
2:45: After Kuntiz has s shot blocked at the right point, Silfverberg rushed the puck into the Penguins zone. He appears to have a breakawya but Engalland chases him down and pokes the puck off his stick. Kunitz owes Engelland a beer.
2:07: After a neutral zone turnover by Karlsson, Crosby snaps off a wrister from the slot. Anderson kicks it out.
2:00: Lovejoy lifts a wrister from the right point. Anderson bodies it away despite traffic.
0:22: Michalek appears to get away with a stick hold on Dupuis at center ice.
0:07: After a neutral zone turnover by Sutter, Karlsson appears to have a chance on the right wing but Martin chases him down and knocks the puck off his stick. Great play by Martin. Sutter owes him a beer.
0:02: A last second chance by Michalek in the right circle is fought off by Fleury.
0:00: End of period Penguins 1, Senators 1.
-The Penguins have a 34-32 edge in shots.
-Michalek gets the call first. He races in on net down the slot and goes five hole. Fleury closes the gates and denies him.
-Neal goes slightly to the right approaches the net and shoots five hole. The puck clunks through Anderson's pads and into the cage. Penguins 1-0.
-Speess goes slightly to the left, approaches the net, slows up and lifts a writer which clinks off the cross bar and into the net. Penguins 1, Senators 1.
-Crosby veers sligthly to the left, approaches the net and lifts a backhander which appears to catch a piece of Anderson's glove and goes into the net. Penguins 2-1.
-Turris moves in on net slightly from the left wing and whips a wrister at Fleury. Fleury gets a piece of the puck which slides just past him into the cage. Penguins 2, Senators 2.
-Malkin barges in at the cage slightly from the left and sneaks a backhander through the five hole of Anderson. End of shootout. Penguins 3, Senators 2. End of game. Penguins 2, Senators 1.
-What a hard-fought game. We generally are snobs about high-scoring games, but this was as entertaining of a low-scoring game as you'll ever see. This was almost playoff intense.
-The Penguins' blue line dug in and played an outstanding game after the loss of Niskanen.
-Paul Martin might have been the Penguins' best player. His ability to defend one-on-one was huge in this contest. He's starting to look like a $5 million player.
-Deryk Engelland and Ben Lovejoy stepped up in a big way when pressed into a bigger workload. That pairing has been the target of scorn the past few days and they answered their critics at a vital time.
-Marc-Andre Fleury was outstanding. Just outstanding. His teammates got sloppy with the puck at times and allowed Ottawa several quality scoring chances. He looked confident and wasn't battling the puck. He earned this win today.
-Craig Anderson deserved a better fate. He was just as strong as Fleury in regulation and overtime. The Penguins had several quality chances but couldn't beat Anderson.
-The Penguins appeared to find something with Tanner Glass on the left wing with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal. He did all the dirty work on that line and allowed Malkin and Neal to create things with their skill. We'd like to see Glass start Tuesday's game against the Islanders on this line.
-The power-play was horrendous for the Penguins. At least the first unit. There appears to be little in the way of structure and their entries to the offensive zone are weak. The second unit had some success given it's more concrete structure.
-Malkin had another sloppy game. His turnover and poor defense directly led to the Senators' only regulation goal. The league's MVP has to be better.
-The league's reigning Norris Trophy winner, Erik Karlsson, was awful too. He had a few nice offensive chances, but he was a turnover machine most of the night.
-Sidney Crosby had some offensive chances but seemed to be bottled up most of the night offensively.
-We'd like to see more from the Penguins' third line. It has been quiet the past three games.
-The NHL should be applauded for attempting to limit injuries on boarding hits, but the standard for what merits a penalty is a complete mystery. It's almost as if the league didn't properly train officials coming out of the lockout for this penalty.
-The Penguins had a 34-32 lead in shots.
-Jason Spezza led the games with five shots.
-Tyler Kennedy and Kris Letang led the Penguins with four.
-The great Joe Vitale was the Penguins' only skater who failed to record a shot.
-Martin led the game with a mamoth 30:26 of ice time.
-Karlsson led the Senators with 26:57.
-The Penguins had a 37-32 lead in faceoffs (54 percent).
-Brandon Sutter was 9 for 13 (69 percent).
-Spezza was 14 for 25 (56 percent).
-Brooks Orpik was a puck magnet and blocked nine shots.
-Marc Methot led the Senators with three.
-Malkin tied Rick Kehoe for seventh-most assists in franchise history with 324.