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Senators outscore Penguins 6-4

by Erin Nicks
KANATA, Ont. -- The Ottawa Senators shot a lot less and scored a lot more.

Two nights after beating Boston's Tim Thomas just twice on a season-high 49 shots, the Senators managed less than half that number against Pittsburgh. But they put six of them into the net on the way to outscoring the Pittsburgh Penguins 6-4 on Friday night.

The teams combined for eight goals in the second period, seven of which occurred within a span of 12:55. Jason Spezza and rookie defenseman Jared Cowen each had four points, Erik Karlsson had three assists -- and his 100th career point -- while captain Daniel Alfredsson contributed a goal and two assists. Zenon Konopka also scored for the Senators.

"I did not too bad there," said Cowen, whose goal at 13:20 of the second period put the Senators ahead to stay. "I don't mind getting those. It makes all the hard work worthwhile. I'm not really a point guy, but do the right things and I'll get them."

Steve Sullivan had a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh, which also got goals by Evgeni Malkin, Matt Niskanen and Chris Kunitz.

Penguins captain Sidney Crosby missed his fourth straight game because of a recurrence of concussion-like symptoms. The Penguins are 1-3-0 without him.

"Typically, we're a lot better defensively than that," forward Craig Adams said. "Whether it's defensive zone coverage or plays up the ice and getting caught on rushes and things like that, certainly our details away from the puck weren't very good."

Alex Auld made 32 saves to improve to 6-1-0 lifetime against Pittsburgh and win for the first time this season.

"It's a great feeling," he said. "Obviously it's taken a few games to get it, and the time in between has made it seem longer. It was definitely a crazy second period, but it's nice to have that kind of support and we played a really good game. I don't know how many games you want to say you won 6-4, but it's great to be able to do it."

The Senators scored five times -- all in the second period -- on 19 shots against Brent Johnson, who was lifted after two periods. Spezza added a third-period goal against Marc-Andre Fleury, who stopped the other four shots he faced.

Ottawa opened the scoring 25 seconds into the second period, when Spezza flew up the ice and fed Greening for a tap-in. The Penguins got even 70 seconds later when Sullivan broke up the right wing and beat Anderson.

The 1-1 tie lasted just 39 seconds before Spezza's slap shot from the slot beat Johnson at 2:04, and Ottawa made it 3-1 at 6:45 when Spezza found Alfredsson in the slot for a quick shot past Johnson.

The duo of Alfredsson and Spezza, who have played on the same line in previous seasons, reunited during their game against Boston and appeared very much in sync on Friday.

"Me and Alfie have good chemistry," Spezza said.  "We've played a lot of games together and know each other real well. Regardless of whether we spent time away from each other, it's pretty easy for us to come back together. It's nice when you have the comfort level and you don't have to re-learn to play with a guy. He was real good tonight."

The Penguins cut the deficit to one at 11:07. With Chris Neil in the box for hooking, Niskanen wired a shot from the point, fooling a screened Anderson. Pittsburgh pulled even at 12:14 when Malkin's point blast went past Anderson for another power-play goal.

But Cowan put the Senators ahead to stay when Cowen picked up Nick Foligno's rebound and beat Johnson at 13:20. Konopka capped Ottawa's five-goal period by scoring at 19:54, four seconds after Pittsburgh's Alexandre Picard was called for high-sticking. It was Konopka's third goal of the season -- and his first power-play goal since Dec. 14, 2005.

Alfredsson's saucer pass went left to right for a waiting Spezza, who slid it underneath Fleury at 12:23 for his 12th point in 10 games, and Spezza's 11th in five games. Kunitz added a late goal with 1:02 remaining.

"They took advantage of their speed right off the hop there in the second and got on the board," Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said. "Then you saw a couple of power-play opportunities by ourselves to answer back. There's too much available out there. They turned it into some quick goals and some speed from their skilled players."

Foligno left the ice late in the third period after a knee-on-knee collision with Simon Despres and did not return.

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