Monday, October 12, 2009

Pens vs. Sens (7:08 pm) Preview...Hello Kovy!

-Tonight at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, the Pens (4-1-0) will face-off against the Sens (3-1-0). The Sens sit atop the Northeast division and are currently riding a 3 game win streak. The Pens are also division leaders (Atlantic) and they'll look for their 3rd straight win and 4th straight on the road. The Pens did not fair well last year against the Sens in going 1-3 and they have lost 6 out of the last 7 meetings.

-What to look for with the Sens: Physical and speedy play. The Pens got their first taste of this team in the 1st rd . of the playoffs two years ago. The Sens, behind Volchenkov, Alfredsson, and Neil literally ran us over. A year later we destroyed them in the playoffs but last season wasn't as succesful. Although Jason Smith, Schubert, and Bass are gone, the Sens can still bring it physically. The Sens have a legit goaltender now in Pascal Leclaire. If he isn't injured, he can be dangerous. They may have finally found their goaltender of the future.

-Some familiar faces from some some oh so close places: Alex Kovalev and Jarko Ruutu. Kovy had his first goal as a Sen over the weekend and he is playing alongside Alfy and Fisher on the 1st line. Spezza is playing on the 2nd line with Cheechoo and Michalek. The Sens scoring will have to be and has been spread out so far this season. With the departure of Heatley, guys like Kovy/Spezza/Cheech/Michalek will be counted on to produce. The Pens have the edge in the 3rd/4th lines but Neil, Ruutu, and Donovan are some tough cookies. Neil will fight anyone, Ruutu is an excellent agitator, and Donovan has scored some big goals against the Pens the last couple years.

-Keys to succes tonight: limit penalties, initiate/don't retaliate. Scotiabank hasn't been a friendly place for the Pens the last couple seasons. But this specific group of Pens is poised and focused to play a very strong game tonight. Fleury is on his A game, Geno is racking up the points, Sid is scoring, and the Pens are hitting. Everything that made the Pens so dangerous in the playoffs, has been working again the past couple games. Last game the Pens were physical but they also didn't take many penalties. Ottawa will come out hitting and it's up to Orpik, Cooke, Adams, and Rupp to set the tone physically for the Pens.

Who's in and Who's out?

: Godard will be in, Skoula/Bourque are healthy scratches

Ryan Shannon, Jesse Winchester, Flip Kuba will be out b.c of injuries


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