Conner replaces Fedotenko in Pens' lineup
OTTAWA — Before Saturday the last NHL team to catch a glimpse at Penguins winger Chris Conner was the Ottawa Senators.
He looked the same last night, which is to say he donned a skating Penguin crest for Game 6 of the Penguins' first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against the Senators at Scotiabank Place.
Conner, recalled from the AHL Friday, replaced left wing Ruslan Fedotenko in the Penguins' lineup for his second NHL postseason game.
Fedotenko has appeared in only two games this postseason, both losses by the Penguins. A reputably clutch postseason performer, Fedotenko is a minus-3 in these playoffs.
Penguins coach Dan Bylsma recalled positive contributions Conner made over eight regular-season appearances, over which he scored two goals and played a season-high 13 minutes and 12 seconds against the Senators on Jan. 28.
"I remember having him beat guys out of the corner and getting to the net," Bylsma said, adding that Conner's diminutive size — 5-foot-8, 180 pounds — does not equal a lack of tenacity.
Conner opened Game 6 on the fourth line with Mike Rupp and Craig Adams. During his final two regular-season games in late January, he played with center Sidney Crosby, scoring his lone two goals on Jan. 26 at the New York Rangers.
Play it forward
Senators winger Jarkko Ruutu is confident his friendships with former Penguins teammates, including defenseman Brooks Orpik, will pick up in a few weeks after hostilities from this rough-edged Eastern Conference quarterfinal series have faded with the passage of time.
However, an indication of the animosity created by a seven-game playoff series was on display at the end of Game 5 at Mellon Arena on Thursday night. After Senators defenseman Matt Carkner scored in triple overtime, Orpik picked up the puck and briefly appeared intent on holding onto it.
"He probably saw me coming and didn't want me to get it," Ruutu said yesterday.
Orpik eventually dropped the puck onto the ice, where Ruutu retrieved it for Carkner.
"Through the series you play hard, the end result is what it is, and then it's back to normal," said Ruutu, who played with the Penguins from 2007 to 2008. "That's a real answer, not (politically correct)."
Stay the course
The Penguins had attempted 357 shots through five games. They'd connected on 177, or 49.6 percent.
A most troubling sign was the number of shots blocked by Ottawa: 108, or 30.3 percent of the Penguins' attempted shots.
"You want to make sure you're going by them, maybe changing your angle; it's not like the puck has to go perfectly between the posts," said Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar, who had 12 of his shots attempts blocked.
"We all recognize they are a good team at blocking (shots). You have to make sure you're delivering. If you're not, then you're not creating scoring threats, and you're giving them momentum."
Around the boards
The Penguins were without right wing Tyler Kennedy (lower body) and defenseman Jordan Leopold (head). Kennedy has missed two straight games, with Leopold sitting the past four. Each player was injured in collisions with Senators defenseman Andy Sutton. ... The Senators were without the following healthy regulars: right wing Ryan Shannon, center Joshua Hennessy, and defensemen Jared Cowen, Derek Smith and Brian Lee.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Timing drives former KHL star Plotnikov
- Penguins notebook: Crosby most excited by Kessel’s footspeed
- Crosby’s off-ice life hardly reflects that of a superstar
- Crosby, teammates have some input on ice at Penguins’ new facility
- Penguins’ Johnston: Kessel, Crosby likely to open season together
- Sestito ready to fight for job on Penguins