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Sens Week Ahead: Dec 6 to 12

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It could be a long week for only 3 games

Shoryuken!
Shoryuken!
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Senators @ Penguins

Game 26, Saturday, December 6th, 1:00pm
TSN5
Previous game
Canucks, Thursday, December 4th
Next game
@Rangers, Monday, December 8th
Hot
Evgeni Malkin - 13P (6G, 7A) in last 10 GP
Cold
Brandon Sutter - 0P in last 7 GP

Pittsburgh, as usual, is a strong team.  They're in the hunt for the league lead.

But wait, what?  Sidney Crosby isn't listed as the "Hot" player?  He is leading the league in points, as usual, but Evgeni Malkin has had the stronger production recently.  Marc-Andre Fleury has been putting up the best regular season numbers of his career - he's got honest to goodness starter quality numbers so far!

As far as special teams go, the Penguins are top in the league on the power play at just under 30%.  The penalty kill is almost as strong, their 85.9% ranks in at fourth.  Possession wise they're actually middle of the pack, but they are in positive territory.

Pittsburgh is dealing with a number of injuries - Kris Letang, Chris Kunitz, Scott Wilson, Pascal Dupuis and Beau Bennett are all on IR.

Canucks @ Senators

Game 27, Sunday, December 7th, 7:00pm
CityTV
Previous game
@Maple Leafs, Saturday, December 6th
Next game
@Canadiens, Tuesday, December 9th
Hot
Shawn Matthias - 6P (4G, 2A) in last 5 GP
Cold
Kevin Bieksa - 1P (1A) in last 9 GP

The Canucks come in to the week sitting first in the West.  It's a big bounce back after last season's disappointment.

Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin lead the team in points, and in twin-like fashion they both have six goals and 18 assists.  Ryan Miller is having an underwhelming season so far overall, with a pretty dismal .910 SV%.  It's an odd split, though - he's got seven games above .940, but eight below .900.  Who knows what Miller will show up, though with the back to back situation we could be seeing Eddie Lack in net.

The power play is middling, ranking 12th overall.  The penalty kill is better, but not spectacular at 7th.  Posession wise they're middle of the pack but still positive, like Pittsburgh.

Zack Kassian and Dan Hamhuis are both on IR.

Kings @ Senators

Game 28, Thursday, December 11th, 7:30pm
TSN5
Previous game
@Sabres, Tuesday, December 9th
Next game
@Canadiens, Friday, December 12th
Hot
Brayden McNabb - 5P (5A) in last 6 GP
Cold
Jeff Carter - 1P (1A) in last 7 GP

This is not the Kings team that won the Stanley Cup last season.

Okay, it mostly is, but they're not playing like it so far this season.  Possession wise they're down from almost 57% last season to a still respectable 51.1%.  As far as the standings go, they're in the playoffs but as a wild card at the moment.

Jonathan Quick is having a great season, his .933 SV% puts him second on the leader board.  He's had some pretty rough games lately, with sub .900 games against Chicago and Dallas, so perhaps he's coming back down to earth.  It's a back to back for LA, so we might see Martin Jones instead of Quick.  Jones is posting even better numbers, but in much more limited play.

Scoring hasn't been great for the Kings this season.  They're almost dead on middle of the pack for G/GP, and their third best scorer is only at a half a point per game.  Tyler Toffoli leads the team with 20 points in 26 games.

Marian Gaborik is day to day, and Slava Voynov is suspended indefinitely.