Pittsburgh Penguins (26-8-5) at Ottawa Senators (21-14-4)
|Date & Time||Thursday January 12, 2017, 7:30 PM (EST)|
The Line: Ottawa Senators +127 / Pittsburgh Penguins -159 --- Over/Under:
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The Pittsburgh Penguins look to shake off a tough road loss against the Capitals as they head into the Canadian Tire Centre to face off with the Ottawa Senators.
The Penguins look to avoid losing their second game in as many nights as they go from one rival to another on Thursday night as they take on a Senators team looking for a statement win to propel their season in the right direction. The Penguins come into tonight’s game sitting three points back of the division leading Columbus Blue Jackets and two back of the Capitals for second with the Rangers and Flyers breathing down their necks as well as we approach the mid way point of the season. The Pens are the reigning champions and are looking like it once again this season but a tough loss last night against the Capitals could give their rivals some momentum and confidence heading into the second half and the fight for home ice advantage will certainly heat up. Matt Murray is expected to get the nod in the Penguins crease as he will go up against Mike Condon.
The Senators meanwhile are fighting tooth and nail in the Atlantic division and heading into tonight’s game three points back of the Bruins for second spot and do have five games in hand so they are sitting in a pretty good spot and should be able to make up some ground. The Sens need to find some more sources of offense as they have the fifth worst tally in total goals so far this season and while they have played fewer games than most teams in the league and that number will come up they are a minus three in goal differential and that is pretty uncharacteristic of a playoff team and is something they need to address. Mike Condon has been a pleasant surprise in the Ottawa crease as he has done a great job filling in for Craig Anderson and he will likely run away with the starter’s job moving forward.
The Pens are 7-1 in their last eight against the Atlantic and 4-1 in their last five playing in a back to back while the Sens are 1-4 in their last five overall and 0-4 in their last four against the Eastern Conference. Ottawa has trouble scoring as is and with Pittsburgh playing in a back to back and giving up five last night I expect them to be a lot more defensive tonight.