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game recap

Penguins fall to Senators, lose back-to-back games

First time Pittsburgh has dropped two straight in regulation since last season

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Mike Condon made 29 saves, and Erik Karlsson had two assists to help the Ottawa Senators to a 4-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

The Penguins (26-10-5) lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time since Dec. 14-19, 2015, when they lost their first four games after Mike Sullivan took over as coach. Pittsburgh lost 5-2 to the Washington Capitals on Wednesday. The Penguins went 90 consecutive regular-season games without back-to-back regulation losses.

 

WATCH: All Penguins vs. Senators highlights

"We would have like to see that streak continue, but I think that sometimes you need to lose a couple in order to play better," Penguins captain Sidney Crosby said. "I think we haven't deserved to win the last couple of games. Sometimes when you're playing well you get some bounces. Good teams find ways to win when they're not at their best. We didn't deserve to win the last couple, so we've got to find a way to get back on track here a bit and maybe this will be something that will make us realize that we've got to have better."

Bobby Ryan and Mike Hoffman scored power-play goals, and Tom Pyatt and Mark Stone scored for the Senators (22-14-4). Condon, who started his eighth consecutive game, was acquired in a trade with the Penguins for a fifth-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft on Nov. 2, 2016.

Conor Sheary scored for the Penguins, and goaltender Matt Murray, playing his first game since sustaining a lower-body injury Dec. 28 against the Carolina Hurricanes, made 29 saves.

 

Video: PIT@OTT: Ryan blasts PPG past Murray for opening goal

The win ended a four-game losing streak for the Senators against the Penguins.

Ottawa led 3-1 after Sheary scored with 6.4 seconds left in the second period when he deflected a shot by Evgeni Malkin from the left-wing circle.

Ottawa scored two power-play goals in the first period when Ryan scored his first goal in five games at 5:29 and Hoffman scored his 12th of the season at 9:26.

Pyatt scored for the second game in a row when he deflected a shot by Karlsson to make it 3-0 at 12:50 of the second.

Stone scored at 8:59 of the third period to make it 4-1 when he got his stick on a pass by Derick Brassard and deflected it past Murray.

Video: PIT@OTT: Stone chips puck past Murray to pad the lead

 

Goal of the game

With the Senators on the power play in the first period, Hoffman got his stick on a hard pass by Karlsson in the slot and deflected it into the top corner on Murray's stick side.

Video: PIT@OTT: Hoffman pots PPG on beautiful deflection

 

Save of the game

At 8:33 of the second period, Condon got his left pad down to stop a shot by Nick Bonino off a scramble.

Video: PIT@OTT: Condon sprawls to make a great pad save

 

Highlight of the game

The line of Pageau with Hoffman and Pyatt was given the job of playing against Crosby and not only held him pointless for his sixth time this season but combined to score the Senators' third goal. Pageau won the faceoff from Crosby, and Pyatt deflected Karlsson's shot past Murray.

Video: PIT@OTT: Pyatt gets in front and deflects puck home

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Penguins were tied for third in the NHL in power-play efficiency (23.2 percent), but the Senators penalty killers went 3-for-3.

 

They said it

"We put ourselves in a bad spot when you fall down 3-0. It's a tough hill to climb there." -- Penguins captain Sidney Crosby

 

"We did very well before Christmas on the power play, and then I think the turkey feathers didn't do very well for us on the power play, days following, we went into those games without practice, and I think it hurt us. Power play is always about small details and execution and that's the first thing that goes away, execution." -- Ottawa Senators coach Guy Boucher

 

"I felt a little rusty early. I felt really good as the game went on. I felt pretty much to where I wanted to be in the third period. They got that one, but that's [a] tough play and the guy kind of fanned on it and it rolled on him and it went short side instead of far side. I felt better and better as the game went on, but definitely a little bit of rust, but that's going to happen. It's been a little while since I was in there." -- Penguins goaltender Matt Murray

 

Need to know

Pageau won 8-of-12 faceoffs against Crosby. … Karlsson played a season-low 21:36. His previous low was 22:38 against the New York Islanders on Dec. 18. … The Penguins played their ninth set of back-to-back games. They are 3-4-2 in the first and 4-2-3 in the second. … Sullivan was given a game misconduct with 1:57 remaining in the third period.

 

What's next

Penguins: At the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NHLN, FS-D, ROOT, NHL.TV)

Senators: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Condon's brilliant performance leads Sens to 4-1 win

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