Game Preview: vs Ottawa Senators - December 5, 2016 - PensInitiative | Pittsburgh Penguins Blog | Rumors | News

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Monday, December 5, 2016

Game Preview: vs Ottawa Senators - December 5, 2016

Pittsburgh Penguins (15-7-3; 2nd Metro) vs Ottawa Senators (15-8-2; 2nd Atlantic)
December 5, 2016 @ 7:00 PM - PPG Paints Arena
TV: Root Sports Pittsburgh

The 3rd period has been kind to Pittsburgh so far in December, as the Pens put up a trio of goals in a win against the Stars on Thursday then followed it up with four goals to cap off a comeback against Detroit on Saturday. Now, they'll try to accomplish something they've managed just once so far on the year: string together a three game winning streak. To do so, they'll need to get past a Senators team that has been much improved to kickoff the 2016-17 season. Like the Penguins, Ottawa also sits in 2nd place in the Atlantic, and after falling short of the playoffs with an 85 point campaign last year the Sens find themselves on pace for 105 points this year.

The Senators are led offensively from the blue line by captain Erik Karlsson, who has led the team in scoring each of the past three seasons and shows no signs of slowing down. One of the best offensive defensemen in the league and a perennial Norris Trophy contender (wins in 2012 and 2015), Karlsson leads the team and is second in the league among defenders with 20 points (5g, 15a). Though his possession numbers have been down this season as compared to years past, he's long been one of the best possession drivers in the game and a force when he's on the ice.

It's been a difficult year personally for Craig Anderson, as his wife Nicholle has been battling throat cancer and the goaltender has taken time away from the team to be with her during treatment. On the ice, however, Anderson has been having one of his best statistical seasons, posting a 0.930 SV% and 2.20 GAA in his 18 starts. He's been a big reason why the Senators have found themselves in the Atlantic Division conversation in the early going, but Ottawa hasn't missed a beat with Mike Condon in net. Perhaps the biggest, and only. loser in the trade that sent Condon to the Sens and a 5th round pick back to Pittsburgh has been the Montreal Canadiens, who lost the netminder on waivers for nothing just weeks before. Condon has been excellent in limited time with his new team so far with a 0.942 SV%, 1.77 GAA and 2 shutouts in his 5 starts with Ottawa. The Senators weren't expected to be competitive heading into the season, but if they manage to continue getting strong play between the pipes they'll be a team that forces their way into the conversation as the season progresses.



- The Penguins have turned coming back from games into an art form under Mike Sullivan, as the team has won 12 of the 48 games (25%) where they've trailed by 2+ goals since he took over last December. The Pens also tie for the league lead with five 3rd period comebacks this season.

- Tonight's game will officially push Pittsburgh past the 8 million mark in attendance during their active 444 game home sellout streak.

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