Sens plan to target Pens' dynamic duo

BRUCE GARRIOCH

, Last Updated: 2:50 PM ET

PITTSBURGH -- The Dynamic Duo is going to be getting a lot of attention.

The Senators have put together a plan to try to shut down Pittsburgh's star centres Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin with Game 1 of their first-round playoff series set for tonight at Mellon Arena.

While the Senators weren't shedding any light on what tact they'll take, it's fair to say the duo will be seeing plenty of defencemen Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov, just maybe not together like in the past.

"Their three centres (including Jordan Staal) are really good. They have the puck a lot," said Senators coach and GM Bryan Murray following a one-hour workout yesterday.

"Two of them are the top young players in the game, and Staal is a heck of a player. I have great admiration for him," Murray said.

"We've got to play in a position to help our defence out. We have to play above them. We have to be responsible and we have to recognize which one is on the ice," he said. "We've talked about how we have to play them.

"Are we capable of it? We'll have to wait and see."

Centre Jason Spezza said stopping skilled players such as Crosby and Malkin is a difficult task.

"You can't really shut down star players, you just sort of have to contain them," said Spezza. "We have to do similar to what we did last year in the series. (Crosby) is going to get his goals and he's going to (get) points. You just have to make sure you're aware that they're there."

Since, in the view of some, the Penguins eased up in their final game against the Flyers so they could avoid facing a physical force like Philly in the first round, the Senators plan to finish their checks.

"We've got a lot of guys in this room who can play physical," said rugged winger Chris Neil.


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