Tonight on the ice, the Metro Division meets the Atlantic Division as the Pittsburgh Penguins take on the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, Ontario. The Penguins enter off a 5-4 OT win over the Sabres at home, while the Senators are off a 4-3 home win over the Avalanche. Goalie Probables: The Penguins will be sending out Matt Murray in this one and he will be opposed by Craig Anderson.
Pens Grab Comeback Win Against The Sabres
The Pittsburgh Penguins had not been playing well of late and they trailed the Buffalo Sabres 3-1 early and then 4-3 as the teams headed to the 3rd period, but they were able to overcome both deficits and walk away with a much-needed 5-4 win in OT. That would have been a bad loss for a team, that was huge favorites in the game. The Pens have still lost four of their last six games, but they are in 3rd place in the Metro Division. Scoring for the Pens in the win was Patric Hornqvist, which was his 6th of the year, Conor Sheary, who scored twice, including the game-winner in OT and now has eight goals on the year, Sidney Crosby , which was his 6th of the year and Phil Kessel, which was his 4th of the year. The Pens have gone 4-9 on the road. Grabbing the win against the Sabres was Matt Murray, who stopped 28 of the 32 shots that he faced in the game to improve to 10-5 with a 2.98 GSAA and a .903 save percentage on the year overall, while on the road he has gone 4-4 with a 3.72 GAA and a .876 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 24-14 with a 2.52 GAA on the road and 10-4 with a 2.31 GAA during the month of November, while against the Atlantic Division he has gone 14-5 with a 2.52 GAA, including 2-2 with a 2.48 GAA against the Senators.
The Penguins have been rather poor on offense so far as they come in ranked 24th in the league in scoring at 2.75 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots taken (35.5 spg) and 5th in power play conversions, converting on 24.4% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been very poor as they come in ranked 28th in goals allowed, giving up 3.55 gpg, while also ranking 12th in shots allowed (31.2 spg) and 26th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 22.5% of their chances.
Sens Take A Couple From The Avs
The Colorado Avalanche have been an improved team this year so far, but the Ottawa Senators were able to put them in their place in a home-and-home series as the Sens took both games and they did so by identical 4-3 scores. The Sens have now won three of their last four games after losing three of their previous five games. They have climbed to third place in the Atlantic Division and now look to keep it going against a Pittsburgh squad that has struggled on the road this year. Scoring in game two against the Avs was Mike Hoffman, who scored twice and now has six on the year, Mark Stone, which was his team-leading 12th of the year and Johnny Oduya, which was his 2nd of the year. The Sens have gone 4-7 at home for the year. Snatching up the win against the Avs was Craig Anderson, who relieved an ineffective Mike Condon in the game. Condon allowed three goals on 10 shot attempts, while Anderson saved all eight shots that he faced. Anderson is now 7-6 with a 2.99 GAA and a .895 save percentage on the year, including 4-6 with a 3.45 GAA and a .886 save percentage at home. In his career, he has gone 124-115 with a 2.65 GAA in his home games and 36-49 with a 2.78 GAA during the month of November, plus he is 25-25 with a 2.28 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Penguins in his career he has gone 5-11 with a 2.85 GAA.
Ottawa has been very good at the offensive end of the ice so far as they come in ranked 3rd in the league in scoring at 3.63 gpg, while also ranking 15th in shots taken (32.1 spg) and 11th in power play conversions, converting on 20.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been below average so far as they rank 20th in goals allowed, giving up 3.06 gpg, while also ranking 6th in shots allowed (30.1 spg) and 21st in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 21.3% of their chances.
- 1-4 in their last five games following a win
- 1-4 their last five games here in Ottawa
- 7-3 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- The host is 19-7 the last 26 games in this series
The Pittsburgh Penguins are just 4-9 on the road this year, but the Senators have gone just 4-7 at home. This is a tough one as neither team is really playing all that well so far. The Sens come in off a couple of wins against the Avalanche and I feel that will give them some confidence for this one against a good Pittsburgh team. Pittsburgh has really struggled on the road and the home team has gone 19-7 the last 26 games in this series. This should be a good tight game with the Senators finding a way to pull it out in the end.