The surging Penguins (12-10-5) begin a three game road trip tonight with game one against the struggling Ottawa Senators (12-14-3). Puck drop is set for just after 7pm.
That's right, the Penguins are red hot right now...winners of two games in a row for the first time since they swept the Western Canada trip way back in late October and looking to make it three in a row against a beat up Senators club.
The Penguins are coming off a 6-2 win over the Islanders at home on Thursday night. Aside from the Penguins winning two games in a row, this was a big deal because Phil Kessel and Sidney Crosby played together for much of the game. Kessel recorded four points while Sid tallied three. The Penguins also received two goals from defenseman Kris Letang, who could damn well be a Norris Trophy candidate with the way he's playing this year, and center Riley Sheahan even got a goal.
The Penguins have now scored 12 goals over their last two games and are starting to get contributions from up and down their lineup. Speaking of the lineup, the Penguins will be without forward Patric Hornqvist tonight. He's out with an upper-body injury sustained sometime during the first period of Thursday's game. He did take the morning skate in his normal spot, however, Mike Sullivan confirmed that he is out tonight. In his absence, Kessel will start the game alongside Crosby. Not that this should surprise you, but expect the lines to get juggled around a lot tonight.
The Senators are starting to become the Ottawa Senators that we all know and hate. Ottawa has now lost two games in a row, both by the score of 5 to 2, and both to the Montreal Canadiens. The Senators received bad news on the injury front this morning when it was announced that forward and leading scorer Matt Duchene was placed on injured reserve with a groin injury. He's expected to be out 'weeks' while winger Bobby Ryan was also placed on IR with a concussion and no timetable to return.
Casey DeSmith vs Craig Anderson in net tonight.
If you recall, the last time these two teams met the Penguins lost 6-4 and both Matt Murray and Matt Cullen faked injuries.
Don't look now but Riley Sheahan has three goals over his last five games.
JS Dea could make his Penguins debut (again) tonight. The Penguins could also dress seven defensemen. Who the hell knows, really.
With Duchene and Ryan both out, I don't know 97% of this Senators roster.
As mentioned above, Hornqvist is out tonight - the injury is apparently not related to the concussion he suffered late last month.
Crosby and Kessel together was fun to watch. Maybe they'll do something cool again.
I miss Daniel Sprong but so far through two games (giant sample size, I know) Marcus Pettersson has been good.
Jake Guentzel is currently riding a six game point streak (4 goals, 6 assists) over those six games.
The Penguins are now 4-2-2 over their last eight games.
Kris Letang might be good again.
The Penguins will likely give up a short-handed goal tonight because that's the cool thing to do right now.
Honestly, Amazon is the best place to shop in the world. Free shipping right now, too.