Leclaire in, Carkner out

Sens defenceman Matt Carkner will be a healthy scratch today when Ottawa plays the Penguins in...

Sens defenceman Matt Carkner will be a healthy scratch today when Ottawa plays the Penguins in Pittsburgh. (QMI Agency file photo)

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:18 PM ET

PITTSBURGH -- The two heroes from the Senators' last victory here were involved in coach Cory Clouston’s lineup decisions for Friday afternoon’s game against the Penguins.

Starting in goal will be Pascal Leclaire, who made 56 saves in a triple overtime playoff victory at the old Mellon Arena last spring.

The scorer of the winning goal that night, Matt Carkner, will be a healthy scratch so Erik Karlsson can return to the lineup from a two-game stint in the pressbox. It will be just the second game the tough guy misses since he made the team out of training camp 14 months ago.

“The last few games he’s struggled a little bit,” Clouston said of Carkner on Friday morning. “And we want to create more offence. We’re obviously not scoring.

“Sometimes it’s not always what you’re doing, it’s what we’re looking for as far as who we’re playing against. Matt just has to keep working hard, keep things simple. When he gets back in, he’ll be good.

“It’s not a message,” added Clouston. “Just right now he hasn’t played as well as we need him to, and we need more offence. We feel this lineup will give us a little more of an offensive punch.”

Leclaire, who will be making his third consecutive start, was on the injured list when the Senators visited Consol Energy Center for the first time on Oct. 18.

“Last time we were here and we lost, but by no means was it Brian Elliott’s fault,” Clouston said of the 5-2 defeat. “But Pascal definitely played very well here (April 22) and we felt it was a good time to change it up, who we're starting in this building, and Pascal should have good memories from last time he played here.”

Game time is 1 p.m.


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