NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, May 17th
(All times Eastern)
(7) Ottawa Senators (0-1) at (1) Pittsburgh Penguins (1-0), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will try to extend their lead in
the Eastern Conference semifinals, as they host the Ottawa Senators in
Friday's Game 2 at CONSOL Energy Center.
The top-seeded Penguins breezed to victory in the opener of this best-of-seven
series on Tuesday, claiming a 4-1 decision over the visiting Senators. On
Friday, Pittsburgh will try to improve to 4-1 on home ice in this postseason
and grab a 2-0 lead in the series before it shifts to Ottawa for Games 3 and
Evgeni Malkin paced Pittsburgh's offense in the opener, as he continued his
stellar postseason play with a goal and an assist. Malkin registered at least
one point in all six games of Pittsburgh's first-round victory over the New
York Islanders and added two more in the Game 1 triumph to push his point
total to 13 (3G, 10A). Only Boston's David Krejci has more points this
postseason with 14 on five goals and nine assists.
Meanwhile, Tomas Vokoun recorded his third straight victory since replacing
Marc-Andre Fleury prior to Game 5 against the Isles. The veteran netminder
made 35 saves Tuesday and has turned away 101-of-105 shots since taking over
between the pipes.
"Vokoun, since he's come in, he's been great," Pittsburgh forward Jarome
Iginla said. "You can tell he's feeling good, and I think it's definitely a
good situation to have as a team when you have two confident goaltenders like
Chris Kunitz also notched a goal and an assist, with Paul Martin and Pascal
Dupuis potting the other goals for the Penguins, who finished 2-for-4 on the
power play and added a short-handed goal in the victory.
Dupuis has six goals in seven playoff games this spring, tying him with
Chicago's Patrick Sharp for the postseason lead.
"I think he's always had the speed and strength, but he's going to a lot of
tough areas and he's getting opportunities to put it in the back of the net,"
Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said of Dupuis.
The seventh-seeded Senators, who beat Montreal in five games during the
opening round, fell to 2-2 on the road in the 2013 playoffs after dropping
Game 1 in Pittsburgh.
Colin Greening scored the lone Ottawa goal, while Craig Anderson was tagged
for all four goals on 30 shots for the Senators, who failed to score on all
five of their power-play opportunities.
"The difference of the game is obviously the execution of their power play,"
Ottawa coach Paul MacLean lamented. "And giving up a shorthanded goal
accentuates our special-teams play much more."
Ottawa hit on 6-of-25 chances with the man advantage in Round 1 against
On the injury front, Senators defenseman Eric Gryba is questionable for Game 2
after taking a hard hit from Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik in the opener.
Jason Spezza is nearing a return from back surgery, but Ottawa's top centerman
has been ruled out for Friday's game. Spezza hasn't played since the fifth
game of the season, but he could be ready to jump back on the ice when the
series heads to Canada's capital city.
The Senators will host Game 3 on Sunday.
This is the fourth all-time playoff series between the clubs. Ottawa won the
first encounter in the 2007 conference quarterfinals, before Pittsburgh ousted
the Sens from the first round in 2008 and 2010.
The Penguins won all three meetings with Ottawa during the regular season.
05/17 10:42:16 ET