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Penguins vs. Senators Scouting Report

Thursday, 11.24.2011 / 9:00 PM ET / Features
By Michelle Crechiolo
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Penguins vs. Senators Scouting Report
Pittsburgh Penguins
Home: 7-1-2-16
Road: 5-5-2-12

WHEN: Nov. 25, 2011 - 7:00 pm   |   WHERE: CONSOL Energy Center
ROOT SPORTS  |  LISTEN: Penguins 24/7 Radio, 105.9 FM
Ottawa Senators
Home: 5-4-1-11

  Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Ottawa Senators 






Milan Michalek
LW  -  #9
  12 Goals
  6 Assists
  18 Points
• Reported to training camp this fall healthy after missing 16 regular-season games due to injury each of his first two seasons with the Senators since being acquired from San Jose in 2009.

• The fast, skilled forward is the younger brother of Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek (by two years).

• The sixth-overall pick by San Jose in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft plays in all situations, averaging 2:50 minutes on the power play (second among forwards) and 1:32 shorthanded minutes per game.
Stephane Da Costa
C -  #24
  3 Goals
  2 Assists
  5 Points
• Chose to sign a free-agent contract with Ottawa after being wooed by a number of NHL teams after two hugely successful seasons with Merrimack of Hockey East.

• Finished his two seasons at Merrimack with 30 goals, 60 assists and 90 points through 67 games, being named Hockey East rookie of the year in 2009-10.

• Made his league debut with the Senators on April 2 vs. Toronto – becoming just
the sixth player from France to play in the NHL – and made Ottawa’s roster out of training camp.
Erik Karlsson
D  -  #65
  1 Goal
  17 Assists
  18 Points
• His 17 helpers currently rank second in the league and first among defensemen (tied with Brian Campbell).

• The 21-year-old been shooting anywhere and everywhere, leading the team with 68 shots on goal – a number that ranks second among NHL blueliners.

Third-year defenseman is shouldering a large load for the Senators, averaging 25:26 minutes per game.
First-year Senators head coach Paul MacLean believes his young team is finally finding some consistency after a first quarter filled with ups and downs. Ottawa began the season with one win through seven games before winning six straight – then going winless in five. They’re now 3-0-1 in their last four contests and conclude their season-high six-game road trip in Pittsburgh on Friday.

What coincided with the Senators’ recent stretch of success was the return of captain Daniel Alfredsson to the lineup after missing five games with a concussion. With so many talented but young players in the Senators’ lineup, having Ottawa’s older and more experienced offensive core – Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek – healthy and producing are crucial to getting victories. And right now, Ottawa has all three of those players in their lineup playing some great hockey. 

Overall, Michalek has been the Senators’ best and most productive player. The brother of Penguins defenseman Zbynek Michalek currently ranks third (tied) in the NHL with 12 goals and seems to have fully rebounded from an injury-marred 2010-11 season. He’s been playing right wing on the top line alongside the veteran Spezza, who has also been producing offense at a steady clip with 20 points in 21 games.

On the blue line, young defenseman Erik Karlsson has been the big story as he continues to mature and develop his game. The 21-year-old is packing an offensive punch, ranking first (tied) among defensemen and second (tied) in the NHL with 17 assists while quarterbacking the NHL’s sixth-ranked power play, and is also shouldering a large load minutes-wise for the Senators. He’s currently averaging a team-leading 25:26 minutes per game on the top pairing alongside Filip Kuba.

Craig Anderson is expected to be back between the pipes after sitting out the Senators’ last game against Vancouver on Sunday with a stiff neck. He’s provided his team with solid goaltending, backstopping the Senators to each of their last three road victories. Save for a couple tough starts during the early part of this season, the 30-year-old has played overall outstanding hockey for Ottawa since being acquired from Colorado in February while assuming a leadership role on this young team.
  • Pittsburgh won the season series over Ottawa last season (3-1) for the first time since going 3-1 in 2006-07.
  • The Penguins won both home games last season against the Senators, the first time they swept Ottawa at home since going 3-0 in 1996-97.
  • Although the Penguins saw their season-high six-game home winning streak end against St. Louis on Wednesday, they remain unbeaten in regulation in their last seven home contests (6-0-1).
  • Chris Kunitz has feasted on the Ottawa Senators over the previous two seasons. Kunitz has picked up assists and points in four of his previous six games against the Senators for a total of nine points (1G-8A) overall. Included in that total is a three-assist night on March 15 of last season in a 5-1 Pittsburgh win at Scotiabank Place and a four-point game (1G-3A) on Dec. 23, 2009 at Mellon Arena. Kunitz and Bill Guerin each tied a team record that night by collecting three assists in the second period of an 8-2 Penguins victory.
  • Ottawa forward Milan Michalek moved to within one point of 300 for his NHL career with a goal and an assist in the team's 5-2 win in Edmonton on Nov. 17. In doing so, he became the first Senator to record 12 or more goals within the season's first 20 games since Alfredsson scored 16 in the first 20 games of the 2007-08 season
  • Dating to the first period of its 3-2 home win over Toronto on Oct. 30, Ottawa has been successful in killing 35 of its last 38 shorthanded situations (92.1%). The Senators are currently 72 for 91 (79.1%) on the penalty kill this season.




2010-11 STAT CHART

F Dustin Jeffrey, knee
D Ben Lovejoy, broken wrist
D Brian Strait, hyper-extended elbow
Neal (13) M. Michalek (8)
Letang (15) Karlsson (17)
Neal (22)
Spezza (20)
Engelland (23) Konopka (73)
Dupuis (9) Smith/Winchester (4)
Neal (6) M. Michalek (2)
Four with (1)
Smith/Alfredsson (1)
Fleury (11-3-2)
Anderson (9-6-1)
Fleury (1.96) Anderson (3.25)
Fleury (.930) Anderson (.895)

D Matt Carkner, knee
F Chris Neil, ankle
F Peter Regin, shoulder





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Author: Michelle Crechiolo
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