The Pittsburgh Penguins (17-10-4, 38 points) jet to Ontario to take on the Ottawa Senators (14-14-4, 32 points) this Friday night. The puck drops at 7:30 Eastern on Root Sports in Pittsburgh and RDS in Canada.
Friday's game is the front end of a back-to-back for the Penguins, who return home to Pittsburgh to host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. Pittsburgh has lost three of its last four games, including a 4-1 contest against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday. It co-owns a share of second place in the Atlantic Division with the New York Rangers and trails the division-leading Philadelphia Flyers by five points.
Ottawa, meanwhile, has lost four of its last five games and has yet to tally consecutive victories in December. However, the Senators have a chance to gain some ground in the Northeast Division with a home-heavy schedule ahead, as eight of their next 11 games take place at Scotiabank Place.
Friday's marks the second meeting between Pittsburgh and Ottawa this season. On Nov. 25, the Penguins dealt the Senators a 6-3 defeat thanks in part to three assists from Sidney Crosby. The Pens' captain has missed the team's last three games as he continues to suffer from concussion-like symptoms. Zbynek Michalek, too, has battled concussion symptoms and will be a game-time decision against Ottawa, reports Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. His brother Milan plays for Ottawa.
For more on the Penguins, please visit Pensburgh, SB Nation's Penguins blog. For the perspective from the other side, please visit Silver Seven, SB Nation's Senators blog.