NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, October 5
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (0-0-1) vs. Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0-0), 2:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins earned a thrilling victory in their
first game of the regular season and will try to sweep the Ottawa Senators
today, as the teams meet for the finale of a two-game series in Stockholm.
The New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning began the 2008-09 NHL schedules
with a test in Prague earlier on Saturday and the Rangers opened the campaign
with a victory. The Penguins later followed the lead of their Atlantic
Division rivals by posting an overtime win at the Globe Arena.
This marks the second straight year that the league has begun its campaign in
Europe after the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks started last season with
a pair of games in London.
The Senators were the designated home club for Saturday's encounter, while the
defending Eastern Conference champion Penguins will hold that distinction
Tyler Kennedy's goal at the 4:35 mark of overtime lifted Pittsburgh to the 4-3
triumph over the Sens. It marked just the second time in the last nine years
that the Penguins began the campaign with a victory, while Ottawa had a four-
game winning streak halted in season openers.
With time winding down in the extra session, Kennedy stole the puck from Jason
Spezza and skated down the left wing. On the fly from the left circle, Kennedy
let loose with a shot that beat Martin Gerber to the short side for the win.
It was the second goal of the game for Kennedy, while Evgeni Malkin and Robert
Scuderi also lit the lamp for the Penguins.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 32 saves in the win for Pittsburgh, which lost to
Detroit in six games in last year's Stanley Cup finals.
Spezza had a goal and an assist while Dany Heatley and Shean Donovan also
scored for the Senators, who were swept by Pittsburgh in the first round of
last year's playoffs. Gerber made 26 saves in the loss.
This was the debut of Craig Hartsburg as the head coach for Ottawa. He was
hired in the offseason by general manager Bryan Murray, who had assumed
temporary head coaching duties after firing John Paddock with 18 games
remaining in the 2007-08 season.
Daniel Alfredsson, Ottawa's captain and a superstar in his native Sweden,
registered six shots on goal, but the normally stellar defensive forward was
an uncharacteristic minus-three for the contest.
Ottawa had won the last three regular-season meetings with the Penguins before
losing on Saturday. The teams have also faced off in the playoffs in each of
the last two springs. The Sens defeated Pittsburgh in the opening round en
route to a berth in the Stanley Cup finals in 2007, while the Pens downed
Ottawa last April in the first round to begin their run to the Cup finals.
The Senators will be without centerman Mike Fisher once again today as he
continues to rest a sore groin.
10/05 10:34:24 ET