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Penguins need shootout after Senators rally

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA -- The Pittsburgh Penguins allowed four third-period goals but defeated the Ottawa Senators 5-4 in a shootout at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

David Perron scored the only goal of the shootout for the Penguins (32-15-8), who won two games in a row for the second time in a month. Pittsburgh defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-1 on Wednesday.

Ottawa (21-22-10) lost for the fourth time in five games.

Pittsburgh led 3-0 and 4-2. Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, who scored two goals to give him 19 for the season, said there was a lesson to be learned.

"Sometimes you need maybe one [game] you get some bounces in," he said. "We can't assume that if we play like that we're going to get away with that kind of play every game. Hopefully this is a good lesson, but also one we'd rather learn with a win than a loss.

"We've got to play some good hockey here down the stretch and build some good habits."

Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston didn't like the Penguins' results in the faceoff circle. All of the Ottawa goals came after the Senators won a faceoff.

"The big thing for me was I thought we sat back a little bit (in the third period)," Johnston said. "We were back on our heels.

"I didn't think our execution was good on three faceoffs. The center-ice faceoff, the two faceoffs in our zone; we've got to be better in those detail areas."

Penguins backup goaltender Thomas Greiss, who often gets the job of playing the second game of a back-to-back, made 29 saves and stopped Bobby Ryan, Kyle Turris and Mika Zibanejad in the shootout.

Senators goaltender Robin Lehner made 25 saves; Perron scored high to the glove side in the shootout. Lehner was making his seventh straight start with No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson out with a hand injury.

The Penguins had a 3-0 lead going into the third period on goals by Kris Letang, Crosby and Evgeni Malkin.

Zibanejad and Mike Hoffman scored for Ottawa to make it 3-2 before Crosby poked a loose puck between Lehner's pads with 5:07 remaining.

"That's just a bad goal," Lehner said. "It catches the wrong side of my blocker and I can't find it … after the guys scored two quick ones like that. It happens, but the guys kind of got energy from it and went out and just played their hearts out. All the credit to them. It was great to see, and I think it's stuff we can build on."

Ottawa's Mark Stone and Turris scored 13 seconds apart to tie it with 3:56 left in the third period.

"The pushback was great. I liked the team's response," said Ryan, who assisted on the first two goals. "When you get down early, it can go either way. I thought the guys came in after the first, regrouped and stuck together.

"But I certainly feel like we left one out there."

With the Senators down 2-0, Ryan was awarded a penalty shot at 11:27 of the second period. He was breaking in on Greiss when Letang slid into him and knocked him down before Ryan could get a shot away.

Ryan tried to deke Greiss and attempted a forehand, but Greiss made a strong move to his left and got his pad on the puck.

Ryan used the same move to start the shootout.

"I talked to Robin, and he said there's no way he thinks I'm doing the same thing again. We figured, 'Why not?'" Ryan said.

"The first save I thought was really good. The second one was probably easy for him. He was probably laughing behind his mask at me."

Greiss said, "I was kind of surprised Ryan used the same move."

Crosby said he felt bad for Greiss, who frequently faced good chances in the third period.

"We made things a lot tougher on him than they needed to be," Crosby said. "He gets a lot of those back-to-back games, and for whatever reason we haven't done a great job of being good in those.

"It's nice to get a win for him. We didn't want to make it as difficult as it was, but it's definitely nice to get two points for him. He deserves it."

The Penguins will try to win three games in a row for the first time since Dec. 15-20 when they play at the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; NBC, TVA, CITY).

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