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game recap

Tkachuk lifts Senators past Penguins in OT

Scores at 25 seconds, has 3 assists; Ottawa gets 4 power-play goals

by Callum Fraser / Independent Correspondent

Recap: OTT 5, PIT 4 - F/OT

Tkachuk carries Senators past Penguins in OT

Brady Tkachuk recorded four points, including the overtime winner, in the Senators' 5-4 victory against the Penguins

  • 05:04 •

OTTAWA -- Brady Tkachuk scored 25 seconds into overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a 5-4 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Canadian Tire Centre on Wednesday.

Tkachuk took a drop pass from Tim Stutzle and scored with a wrist shot from the top of the slot.

"It was exciting for the fans," said Tkachuk, the Senators captain. "A lot of goals, entertaining. On special teams, I thought we stepped up tonight. We've struggled as of late, so we just needed to get back to our identity."

Video: PIT@OTT: Tkachuk lifts Senators to OT victory

Stutzle and Drake Batherson each had a goal and an assist, and Tkachuk and Thomas Chabot each had three assists for Ottawa (20-21-3), which was 4-for-9 on the power play. Cam Talbot made 15 saves.

"I thought we played a great game, wire to wire," Senators coach D.J. Smith said. "I thought our bench was under control tonight. You know, guys were dialed in to what they were doing and sometimes flukey goals go in and things like that, and then you've got to stay with it. It's easy to get down, but I thought it was a really good effort by a lot of guys."

Ottawa scored four power-play goals for the first time since Dec. 17, 2005, when it scored six in an 8-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

"It's pretty tough to assess a game like that when half of the game is special teams," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists, Sidney Crosby had three assists, and Casey DeSmith made 35 saves for Pittsburgh (22-15-7), which was outshot 40-19.

"Except for the last one, I thought I played well," DeSmith said. "The last one was not good."

Senators forward Josh Norris had two shots on goal in 19:04 of ice time in his return from a shoulder injury. He missed 38 games, last playing Oct. 22.

"He makes our team so much better with him in the lineup," Tkachuk said. "We missed him. It didn't look like he was out of shape after being out three months. He looked unreal. His speed, his skating and his shot. For me, the personal connection I have with him, I was fired up tonight."

Video: PIT@OTT: Stutzle scores his 20th goal of the season

Jason Zucker gave the Penguins a 1-0 lead at 6:36 of the first period when he tapped in a rebound in the crease after Marcus Pettersson's shot grazed Talbot's glove.

Alex DeBrincat tied it 1-1 on the power play at 7:44 when he took a pass from Batherson and scored from low in the left face-off circle.

Stutzle made it 2-1 on the power play at 9:44 when he put a fake on Crosby at the point, skated into the slot and scored with a wrist shot under DeSmith's right arm.

Both Senators goals came on the same penalty after Penguins forward Jeff Carter was called for a high-sticking double minor at 7:09.

Regarding Ottawa's success on the man-advantage, Tkachuk said, "Just work first and making the right play. Just executing. Stuck with it. We made a few mistakes early, but then when we needed to, we capitalized."

Video: PIT@OTT: Batherson, Tkachuk combine for a PPG in 2nd

Malkin tied it 2-2 at 15:53 when he scored on a rebound at the edge of the crease.

Mark Friedman put Pittsburgh ahead 3-2 at 3:07 of the second period, one-timing a pass from Pettersson at the top of the left circle.

Batherson tied it 3-3 at 9:19, tapping in a backhand pass from Tkachuk on the power play.

"We battled hard, but we didn't get it done," Sullivan said of the penalty kill. "… We gave up four goals-against. It's not good enough. We battled hard, but when you're spending a third of the game trying to kill penalties, it puts an awful burden on those guys."

Shane Pinto's power-play goal gave the Senators a 4-3 lead at 10:57 of the third. It was his first goal in 15 games since Dec. 14.

"It's been a little bit for me, so just to get the monkey off my back is nice," Pinto said. "… There were definitely days where it was frustrating, but I just need to stick with it and stay positive and the bounces will come."

Video: PIT@OTT: Crosby sets up Rakell's PPG in the 3rd

Rickard Rakell tied it 4-4 on the power play at 12:33 when he took a centering pass from Crosby, spun and shot from the slot.

It was the first of a home-and-home; Ottawa visits Pittsburgh on Friday. The Senators trail the Penguins by eight points for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

"It's the team we're trying to catch," Tkachuk said. "We're treating this as do or die. It's a playoff atmosphere -- energy, emotions. That's what we want to play with and that's what we want to carry going into the next game."

NOTES: With his first assist of the game, on Malkin's goal, Crosby reached 50 points in a season for the 16th time in his 18 NHL seasons. The only active player with more is Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (17). Crosby has 52 points (21 goals, 31 assists) in 44 games. … Pettersson had two assists. … Tkachuk tied Erik Karlsson and Mike Hoffman for second on the Senators' overtime goals list with six. Mike Fisher is first with seven. … Stutzle reached 20 goals for the second straight season and played a game-high 26:29.

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