Senators notebook: MacLean puts onus on veterans
Coach calls on veterans
Coach Paul MacLean opened Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinal Friday night at Consol Energy Center with the veteran line of center Jason Spezza, left wing Milan Michalek and right wing Daniel Alfredsson.
His aim was to stock the ice with veterans. Before Friday, the trio had combined to play in 229 career playoff games, with a total of 81 goals. Michalek and Spezza are former first-round draft choices and Alfredsson, 40, is the team's respected captain.
“Maybe if we put our veteran guys together and get them on the ice early in the game, it will have a calming effect for the rest of the group,” MacLean said.
Initially, MacLean's strategy didn't work. While Spezza had the second-most ice time among Ottawa forwards in the first period, his line had none of the Senators' 10 shots.
Michalek scored on a power play late in the second period after the Penguins had seized a 3-0 lead. Spezza and Kyle Turris assisted.
MacLean, who took no questions and cut short his news conference Wednesday night, stayed as long as anyone wanted Friday afternoon after his team's game-day skate.
But reporters threw only two questions at him and he sat on stage for a total of 76 seconds. He did offer a bit of news everyone expected when he said goalie Craig Anderson, who was pulled before the end of Games 1 and 4, would start Game 5 on Friday night.
He also said right winger Mark Stone, who was injured in Game 4, did not make the trip to Pittsburgh.
— Jerry DiPaola
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
- Penguins’ Fleury tests negative for mumps; Crosby skates with team
- Penguins continue to thrive, despite spate of ailments
- Penguins notebook: Kunitz tests foot by skating during practice
- With 3 more players possibly affected, Pens’ mumps fight escalates
- Penguins defenseman Letang having best season in new system
- Mumps confirmed for Penguins’ Bennett; team intern also affected
- Penguins’ Maatta to seek second opinion for shoulder
- Penguins notebook: Players back team doctors in mumps aftermath
- Rust, Dumoulin score 1st NHL goals in Penguins’ 4-2 victory over Lightning
- Penguins player might have exposed Children’s Hospital patients to mumps
- Penguins notebook: Crosby to miss 2 games as precautionary measure