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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 6th (All times eastern)

Pittsburgh Penguins (15-6-4) at Ottawa Senators (9-10-4), 2 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators will aim for their fourth win in five games when they welcome the Pittsburgh Penguins for this afternoon's matchup at Scotiabank Place.

Today's encounter marks the first time the Senators and Penguins have met since they began the NHL season with a pair of games in Stockholm, Sweden on October 4 and 5. The teams split the series with Pittsburgh winning the opener in overtime and the Sens taking a 3-1 victory in the finale.

Ottawa has won four of the last five matchups in the series against the Pens.

The Senators are currently last in the Northeast Division, but have won three of four games on the heels of a season-high six-game losing streak.

Ottawa began the surge by winning back-to-back tests over the New York Rangers and Toronto and after losing to the New York Islanders last Saturday, the Sens answered with Wednesday's 5-1 decision over visiting Atlanta.

Dany Heatley registered a goal and two assists to lift the Senators to the easy victory over the Thrashers.

Daniel Alfredsson and Brendan Bell both added a goal and an assist in the win. Jason Spezza and Shean Donovan also tallied, while Filip Kuba collected two helpers.

Alex Auld, making his ninth straight start, had 22 saves for Ottawa. Auld is 8-6-3 with a .927 save percentage and a 1.96 goals against average in 17 starts this year. He is 4-1 with a 2.01 GAA in five career outings against the Penguins.

Ottawa is 6-5-2 as the host this year and is playing the middle test of a three-game homestand today. The Sens will wrap the residency Monday against Florida.

The Penguins have won two of their last three contests and are 10-2-2 since the start of November. Pittsburgh is now within four points of the Rangers for first place in the Atlantic Division, but lost a shootout decision in New York on Wednesday.

Pittsburgh was able to rebound from the loss to the Rangers, as it posted a 5-2 victory at Carolina on Thursday. Sidney Crosby assisted on four of Pittsburgh's five goals, as the Penguins easily defeated the Hurricanes. Crosby extended his point streak to five games and has a whopping 14 points (6 goals, 8 assists) in those tests.

Petr Sykora scored twice, while Evgeni Malkin had two helpers for Pittsburgh, which has won three of five. Pascal Dupuis, Miroslav Satan and Ruslan Fedotenko all scored in the win, while Dany Sabourin saved 34 shots in his first back-to-back starts of the season.

Sabourin continues to hold down the No. 1 goaltender spot while franchise backstop Marc-Andre Fleury recovers from an undisclosed injury. Fleury has missed the last eight games with the ailment, but Sabourin has down an admirable job with a 3-1-2 record in starting seven games since the injury. It is still uncertain as to when Fleury will be able to return to game action.

The Pens received some additional injury news Friday, when they placed forward Tyler Kennedy on injured reserve with a sprained knee. Kennedy, who has six goals and nine assists this year, will miss the next four-to-six weeks.

Pittsburgh is 8-3-2 as the visiting team this year and is closing a three-game road trip tonight.

12/06 10:30:13 ET

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