Pittsburgh Penguins at Ottawa Senators
Pittsburgh leads series 2-0.
First up, Spezza might not play tonight. He has some kind of leg issue and didn't practice over the weekend.
Even if Spezza does play, Murray is shaking up his top lines again. This time, he's split up Spezza and Heatley. Here are the supposed top two lines, courtesy of the Ottawa Sun:
Heatley - Vermette - Stillman
Foligno - Spezza - Nikulin
Nikulin is a call-up from the Sens minor league team in Binghamton, and he is a curious choice to slap onto the second line. He has played in only two NHL games (one against the Pens), averaging about 5:00 of ice time. He's also a center, so the Sens are shifting him to the wing in his first NHL playoff game. Good luck.
The Pens need a split in Ottawa to put the Sens out of the series. You don't want to come back to Pittsburgh with the series tied up. This is a good chance for the Pens to show they can win on the road.
In case they need any extra motivation, the Sens had the foresight to put up that big mural showing the handshake after the playoff loss last year, right outside the Pens dressing room. Ottawa players aren't happy about it, but it's there. Congratulations to the geniuses in Ottawa.
Let's Go Pens!