NHL action on Tuesday evening and the Atlantic Division will square off with the Metro Division as the Ottawa Senators grapple with the Pittsburgh Penguins at PPG PAINTS Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The Senators are off a 6-3 loss to the Maple Leafs on the road, while the Penguins are off a 4-1 win over the Blues on the road. Goalie Probables: The Senators will be sending out Craig Anderson and the Penguins will counter with Matt Murray.
Senators Fall By Three At Toronto
The Ottawa Senators will not be invited to the postseason party this year, but they had been playing a bit better of late as they entered their game against the Maple Leafs on the road having won four of their previous five games. Well, they couldn’t keep it going as the Maple Leafs took them down on Saturday night by a score of 6-3. The Sens have seen their offense perk up a little of late as they have scored 12 goals in their last three games, but they have also allowed 19 goals over their last five games. Ottawa is currently 14 points out of the 8th slot in the Eastern Conference standings and 24 points out of 3rd place in the Atlantic Division. They are pretty much just playing out the string. Scoring in the loss to the Leafs was Johnny Oduya, which was his 3rd of the year, Derick Brassard, which was his 14th and Ryan Dzingel, which was his 15th. The Senators have gone 7-19 on the road and have averaged 2.15 gpg and have allowed 3.27 gpg in those games.
Taking the loss against the Maple Leafs was Mike Condon, who allowed three goals 2 goals on 30 shot attempts after relieving Craig Anderson, who allowed three goals in the first 11:30 of the game. Condon is now 4-13 with a 3.27 GAA and a .904 save percentage on the year. Anderson will be back in the crease for this one and he has gone 15-22 with a 3.21 GAA and a.902 save percentage on the year, including 5-10 with a 3.06 GAA and a .907 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 123-140 with a 2.79 GAA on the road and 28-31 with a 2.41 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the penguins he has gone 5-12 with a 2.80 GAA.
Ottawa has been poor at the offensive end of the ice so far as they come in ranked 26th in the league in scoring at 2.63 gpg, while also ranking 26th in shots taken (30.1 spg) and 27th in power play conversions, converting on 16.2% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been poor so far as they rank 29th in goals allowed, giving up 3.39 gpg, while also ranking 27th in shots allowed (33.4 spg) and 28th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 24.8% of their chances.
Pens Top Blues In Interconference Showdown
The Pittsburgh Penguins have their sights on making a run at a 3rd straight Stanley Cup Title, while the Blues are looking for a division title and both teams have been playing very well of late. That set up a very nice interconference clash between those teams on Sunday and Penguins were the ones to come out on top with a 4-1 victory. The Penguins have now won 11 of their last 15 games to pull to within four points of the Capitals, who are in the catbird seat of the Metro Division, but their lead is just one point over 3rd place Philadelphia, who has been surging of late. These are the games that playoff contending teams need to win. Leading their attack against the Blues was Sidney Crosby, who scored twice and now has 19 on the year. He broke a 10-game scoreless streak in the game. Also scoring in the win was Bryan Rust, which was his 8th of the year and Riley Sheahan, which was his 6th. The Penguins have gone 20-8 at home for the year and they have averaged 3.57 gpg and have allowed 2.79 gpg in those games.
Grabbing the win against the Blues was Matt Murray, who Matt Murray, who stopped 33 of the 34 shots that he faced in the game to improve to 19-14 with a 2.90 GAA and a .906 save percentage on the year overall, while here at home he has gone 12-5 with a 2.77 GAA and a .914 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 33-12 with a 2.57 GAA in his home games and 16-7 with a 2.56 GAA against the Atlantic Division, while against the Senators he has gone 3-2 with a 2.16 GAA.
The Penguins have been decent on offense so far as they come in ranked 9th in the league in scoring at 3.05 gpg, while also ranking 4th in shots taken (34.2 spg) and 1st in power play conversions, converting on 26.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been below average as they come in ranked 20th in goals allowed, giving up 2.96 gpg, while also ranking 9th in shots allowed (30.9 spg) and 5th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 16.9% of their chances.
- 3-9 in their last 12 games following a loss of three or more goals
- The road team is 4-11 the last 15 games in this series
- 72-27 in their last 99 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- 92-44 in their last 136 vs. the Eastern Conference
There have been a few huge upsets in the NHL the past few days, but this will not be another. The Pens come off a tough game against the Blues, but they won that game on the road and have been a very good home team this year. Matt Murray has gone 33-12 in his career here at PPG Paints Arena and Craig Anderson has gone just 5-10 on the road this year and he is just 5-12 in his career against the Penguins. The Sens as a team are just 7-19 on the road, while the Penguins are 20-8 here at home, plus Pittsburgh has won 16 of their last 21 home games in this series. I look for the Penguins to win this one rather easily.