Game 76: Pittsburgh Penguins @ Ottawa Senators

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What a difference a week makes. Last Sautrday, the Ottawa Senators woke up as the second seeds in the eastern conference. Since then, the Senators lost three consecutive games, all in regulation. The Buffalo Sabres on the other hand won three games and lost one in overtime. That is seven points that Buffalo has gained on Ottawa in just one week. While the Senators are playing the Penguins, the Sabres will host a Minnesota team that is playing out the string.

Given recent results and the quality of tonight's opponent, it would be easy to panic. But all it takes is a couple of wins and suddenly things are looking much brighter, especially with only a handful of games left to hang on.

Ben Bishop will get the start and both Kaspars Daugavins and Matt Carkner will return to the lineup in the place of Zenon Konopka and Matt Gilroy. I can't find the lines today so use your imagination.

Yours truly will be at the game, so try to make do without me.

More after the jump.

Here are some topics for tonight:

  • Stop the bleeding: The Penguins are on a 13-0-1 run, the Senators are on an 0-3-0 run. How much would it lift the spirits to come away with a win, or even a point tonight?
  • Start better: Ottawa is feeling the pressure and it doesn't help to give up a goal in the first minute. Hopefully Ben Bishop can hold down the fort early in the game and calm any nerves.
  • Scoring: It is getting old, but the Senators simply can't score any more. They have combined for a total of two goals in the last three games and six goals in the last five games. Pittsburgh is starting backup goaltender Brad Thiessen.
  • Scoreboard watching: As mentioned Buffalo is playing Minnesota, can Dany Heatley do something to help his old club?
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