NHL Preview from The Sports Network |
Sunday, February 22nd
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (33-15-8-5) at Pittsburgh Penguins (11-41-5-4), 3 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins try to avoid becoming the first
team in NHL history to lose 18 consecutive games today when they welcome the
potent Ottawa Senators to the Igloo.
The Pens have lost each and every one of their matches since a 2-1 win in
Philadelphia on January 12. However, they are not officially eligible to break
the record for successive futility -- set by the Washington Capitals in 1975
and the San Jose Sharks in 1993 -- because they earned a point in an overtime
loss to St. Louis on Valentine's Day.
On Friday, Pittsburgh suffered a 2-0 setback to visiting Florida. Roberto
Luongo made 34 saves to back the Panther effort, facing steady fire all
evening. The Penguins sent 11 shots on him in each of the first two periods
and 12 in the final 20 minutes.
Andy Chiodo stopped 30 of the 32 shots he faced in just his second career NHL
game, as the Penguins lost 13th consecutive tilt at home -- which extended
their NHL record. Chiodo has stopped 60 of the 66 shots he has faced in his
first two games since being called up from the American Hockey League.
In addition to almost becoming the first club to drop 18 straight, the
Penguins are one shy of matching the team record for a winless streak set when
they went 0-17-1 from January 2 - Feb. 10, 1983.
Pittsburgh will kick off a three-game road trip Wednesday in Phoenix.
Ottawa, meanwhile, is 5-0-1-1 in its last seven tries, including Saturday's
2-1 decision over visiting Calgary. Martin Havlat's early third-period goal
lifted the Sens to the key triumph.
Bryan Smolinski was credited with the other Ottawa goal as the Senators
remained within a point of Toronto atop the Northeast Division. Boston sits
one point behind the Sens in third place.
Patrick Lalime faced just 19 shots, but he stopped all but one for the win to
remain undefeated against the Flames in seven career contests (6-0-1).
On the injury front, Senators center Mike Fisher returned to the lineup after
missing 25 games with a right elbow injury, while fellow centerman Antoine
Vermette also played after an eight-game absence due to a left shoulder
The Senators, only 1-2-1 in their last four road games, will visit Montreal on
Pittsburgh and Ottawa are 1-1-1 against each other this season, but the Sens
are 6-2-1 in the last nine meetings overall.
02/22 10:07:16 ET