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game recap

Karlsson injured in Sens' loss to Penguins

Wednesday, 02.13.2013 / 9:49 PM

Chris Adamski - NHL.com Correspondent

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Karlsson injured in Sens' loss to Penguins
Ottawa Senators 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 4
Three Stars of the Game
James Neal
1st
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 18:23
Sidney Crosby
2nd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 22:29
Paul Martin
3rd
G: 0Shots: 1
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 6
+/-: 0TOI: 23:43

PITTSBURGH -- In the media room at Consol Energy Center about half an hour after the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators, 4-2, Wednesday night, Penguins coach Dan Bylsma beamed about winger Matt Cooke, calling his performance "Matt's best game, 5-on-5, of the year to this point."

On the other side of the arena, the sentiments for Cooke weren't nearly as warm.

Cooke had an assist while fitting in nicely during his first extended action of the season as Evgeni Malkin's left wing. But the Senators weren't impressed, not after losing star defenseman Erik Karlsson long-term as the result of a collision with Cooke.

James Neal scored twice, and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists for the Penguins, who defeated the Senators for the second time this season.

Karlsson, the Senators' 22-year-old reigning Norris Trophy winner, sustained a laceration to his left Achilles. It will require surgery to repair, leaving him out indefinitely, perhaps for the season.

"Obviously, the way he's playing and how much he means for us, for our team it feels terrible," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "And I feel really bad for him."

Karlsson was killing a penalty when Cooke came from behind to pin him against the left-wing boards. Cooke's left skate made contact with the back of Karlsson's lower left leg, leaving Karlsson in sharp pain. He immediately headed to the locker room.

There was no penalty called on the play on Cooke, who has a history of supplemental discipline from the NHL.

"Him and I were engaged, and he went down screaming," Cooke said. "I didn't even know what happened.

"It's a complete accident. Obviously, I feel terrible about it. I'm not trying to do that, obviously. It's happened a few times over the past couple years, and it's scary."

The Senators didn't seem to agree with Cooke's assertion that the incident was an accident. General manager Bryan Murray was overheard angrily telling observers to watch the replay, pointing out it was Cooke.

"We all know who's involved in it," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. "That's just the way it is. Injuries are part of the game. We have to move forward."

Karlsson isn't the only high-profile injury for the Senators, who lost for the fifth time in their past seven games. The team learned shortly before faceoff they would be without top-line wing Milan Michalek, who sustained a lower-body injury during warm-ups.

The Senators already were without center Jason Spezza, who had back surgery this month.

Pascal Dupuis scored, Paul Martin had two assists, and Neal added an assist to give him his first three-point game of the season for the Penguins, who were coming off a being swept in a home-and-home by the New Jersey Devils.

Stephane Da Costa and Jim O'Brien scored for the Senators.

Neal's first of the game was his NHL-best sixth of the season on the power play, tying the game 2-2 at 6:23 of the second period off a feed from Crosby.

The Penguins have a power-play goal in six consecutive games.

Neal gave the Penguins the lead, 3-2, 1:52 into the third when he pounced on a rebound of a Deryk Engelland shot from the point that had been deflected by Cooke.

Neal has 10 goals this season. Only Buffalo Sabres forward Thomas Vanek, with 12, has more.

"He has a great shot that's tough to stop when he gets time and gets chance to get a release like that," Crosby said, referring to Neal's first goal.

The Penguins scored first for the 11th time in 14 games this season when Dupuis finished a set-up from Crosby 16:23 into the contest.

Pittsburgh closed the scoring when Crosby got his goal seconds after a holding penalty to Chris Phillips had expired 11:42 into the third. It was Crosby's sixth of the season, the second in his past six games.

Ottawa scored twice in a 24-second span midway through the second, each a soft one against Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury.

Da Costa scored the instant a Senators' power play expired and 40 seconds after Pittsburgh had killed 1:20 of Ottawa's 5-on-3 time. Da Costa was against the boards and over Fleury's right shoulder behind the net when he flipped the puck toward him that somehow found its way through Fleury's equipment and bounced in for Da Costa's first of the season and fourth career goal in 31 games.

Shortly thereafter and on the next shot of the game, O'Brien beat Fleury with a wrist shot from the left wing for his seventh career goal in 47 games, his fourth of the season.

"That was a quick two goals that turned the game around," Fleury said. "But I think nobody panicked, and we stuck to our game plan and everything was good."

A day after Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson registered his second shutout of the season, he allowed a season-high four goals on 30 shots. He was the NHL leader in goals-against average and save percentage entering the game.

Fleury made 27 saves to win for the fourth time in his past five starts.

He did it against a depleted Senators lineup. Pittsburgh, conversely, welcomed back defensemen Kris Letang and Matt Niskanen. Each had missed time due to a lower-body injury.

"A little bit of rust, but for the most part I felt pretty good," Niskanen said.

scoring summary
1st Period
16:23
PIT
Pascal Dupuis (5) Snap shot - ASST: Sidney Crosby (13), Chris Kunitz (10)
1 - 0 PIT
2nd Period
10:31
OTT
Stephane Da Costa (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Daniel Alfredsson (5), Sergei Gonchar (6)
1 - 1 Tie
10:55
OTT
Jim O'Brien (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Erik Condra (3)
2 - 1 OTT
13:47
PIT
PPG - James Neal (9) Snap shot - ASST: Sidney Crosby (14), Paul Martin (6)
2 - 2 Tie
3rd Period
01:52
PIT
James Neal (10) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Cooke (3), Deryk Engelland (2)
3 - 2 PIT
11:42
PIT
Sidney Crosby (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Paul Martin (7), James Neal (3)
4 - 2 PIT
penalty summary
1st Period
09:19
PIT
Paul Martin  Tripping against  Zack Smith
12:17
OTT
Jim O'Brien  Holding against  Sidney Crosby
2nd Period
07:51
PIT
Paul Martin  Hooking against  Mika Zibanejad
08:31
PIT
Pascal Dupuis  Hooking against  Stephane Da Costa
12:16
OTT
Chris Phillips  Hooking against  Zach Boychuk
17:48
PIT
Paul Martin  Tripping against  Kyle Turris
3rd Period
09:38
OTT
Chris Phillips  Holding against  Pascal Dupuis
17:54
OTT
Chris Neil  Roughing against  Matt Cooke
17:54
OTT
Chris Neil  Roughing against  Matt Cooke
17:54
OTT
Chris Neil  Misconduct (10 min)
17:54
PIT
Matt Cooke  Misconduct (10 min)
goalie stats
Craig Anderson
SA: 30TOI: 60:00
Saves: 26EV: 22 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 5
SV%: .867SH: 0 - 0
Marc-Andre Fleury
SA: 29TOI: 59:53
Saves: 27EV: 21 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .931SH: 1 - 1