OTTAWA (AP) _ The Ottawa Senators are moving into position to defend their
Eastern Conference title.
Martin Havlat and Peter Schaefer each scored two goals and Marian Hossa had
three assists in Ottawa's 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday
Daniel Alfredsson and Josh Langfeld also scored to help the Senators move
within a point of Toronto for the conference lead. Ottawa, which finished first
overall last season, improved to 13-2-4 in its last 19 games.
``There are a lot of positives right now, but we have to keep winning,''
Alfredsson said. ``Philadelphia is getting back on track and Toronto keeps
winning even though they have a lot of guys out. They're pushing us and we're
pushing them so it should be a great race.''
Milan Kraft, Drake Berehowsky, Tom Kostopoulos, Brian Holzinger and Dick
Tarnstrom scored for Pittsburgh, which lost its fifth in a row despite tying a
season high for goals.
``They worked hard and they battled back, so they deserve a lot of credit,''
Kostopoulos hit the left post with a shot in the final seconds after
Tarnstrom's power-play goal drew the Penguins within one with 2:22 remaining.
``I never thought it was close, but then you hear it _ it was a pretty good
cling,'' Alfredsson said. ``It was a good relief because I thought we
definitely were the better team out there and we deserved to win.''
Pittsburgh, which has allowed a league-high 178 goals and is last in the NHL
with 30 points, has just three wins in its last 19 games (3-14-1-1).
``It's really frustrating,'' Kostopoulos said. ``They're one of the best
teams in the league and I thought our team played well. We didn't give up at
all. Down by three going into the third, we got two big goals and then almost
got a third.''
The Penguins, who won and tied their two previous games against Ottawa this
season, were 3-for-6 with the man advantage.
``We battled hard and what you saw tonight is the way we play,'' Penguins
coach Ed Olczyk said. ``We put our necks on the line and we play with a lot of
moxie. People don't respect us too much _ I'm not saying the Senators, I'm just
saying the public and the media in general. I mean, we've played these guys
pretty tough in three games.''
Ottawa, which went 2-for-10 on the power play, scored on six of 23 shots
against rookie Marc-Andre Fleury, who was replaced by Jean-Sebastien Aubin for
the third period. Fleury was making his second start since returning from a
stint with the Canadian national junior team.
``I thought he was really good early, and then I thought we didn't give him
much of an opportunity late in the first period when we gave them two power
plays,'' Olczyk said. ``The last couple of goals in the second period I didn't
think he was very sharp on. I think right now he's just in between and we've
got to help him find it.''
Hossa, Alfredsson and Senators defenseman Wade Redden were added to the
Eastern Conference roster for the All-Star game in St. Paul, Minn., on Feb. 8.
``I think it shows that we had a great first half, and a lot of our guys had
good individual halves as well,'' Alfredsson said.
Pittsburgh, which has lost 13-time All-Star Mario Lemieux for the season to
a hip injury, had no players added, leaving the Penguins without an All-Star
representative for just the second time in franchise history, and first time in