The Senators are back in action tonight, after getting put in Time Out yesterday by head coach Cory Clouston. Now that the team has had time to "think about what they've done," they get to face the Crosby-less Pittsburgh Penguins. Also missing Evgeni Malkin, (gone for the year with ACL and MCL tears) this is still a dangerous team: They're 3-1-1 in their last five games, including a 3-2 win over the Northeast-leading Boston Bruins. In fact, the Penguins are just three points behind division rival Philadelphia for the Eastern Conference's top seed.
Meanwhile, Ottawa is 6-4 in their last ten, with the latest loss coming on Sunday against Buffalo, a 6-4 affair that was not as close as the score would indicate. They've recently beaten some teams they should have no chance to beat, so there's a chance they could win tonight. That's going to take great efforts from the usual suspects:
- Craig Anderson - Pulled for the first time in a Sens jersey against Buffalo. How will he respond tonight?
- Jason Spezza - Coming off a four-point night against the Sabres, and a two-game stretch of the most leaderlike play I can recall. Is the torch being passed before our eyes? His play against a team like the Penguins will speak volumes.
- Nick Foligno - Marek Svatos has mercifully been moved off of the second line. Ryan Shannon and Erik Condra have shown good chemistry by themselves. If Foligno can make it a complete line, it'll go a long way towards selling his future with the club. No one's sure if he's more than a third line player right now.
- Jim O'Brien - Just so I can shill his nickname of "Pee Wee".
- Alex Kovalev - Makes his return to Ottawa tonight, but you probably won't notice. Ha ha! See what I did there?!
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