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game recap

Penguins rally, top Senators for seventh straight win

Crosby, Hagelin help Pittsburgh overcome early three-goal deficit

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Carl Hagelin and Sidney Crosby each scored two goals, and the Pittsburgh Penguins overcame a three-goal deficit to defeat the Ottawa Senators 5-3 at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday for their seventh consecutive victory.

Hagelin tied the game 3-3 early in the third period, then scored at 14:03 to put the Penguins ahead. His backhand along the ice, intended as a pass to Phil Kessel, instead slid into the net past the stick of Senators goaltender Andrew Hammond.

Crosby scored his second goal of the game and 35th of the season into an empty net with seven seconds remaining, sealing the Penguins' 13th win in 14 games and the second in a week in which they overcame a three-goal deficit. The victory allowed the Penguins (47-25-8) to stay three points ahead of the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division.

Video: PIT@OTT: Crosby's goal cuts the deficit to one

"We believe in ourselves," Hagelin said. "We've been in that situation before, but a lot of guys are good at scoring. We've just got to keep pushing and believe in ourselves. Murray made a couple of really good saves when it was 3-0 and 3-1, and that's what you need from your goalie."

Patric Hornqvist had the first goal for the Penguins, and rookie Matt Murray made 27 saves for his eighth win in 11 games with Pittsburgh, which was down 3-0 and came back to beat the Buffalo Sabres 5-4 in a shootout last Tuesday.

"It's happened a couple of times here in the last little bit where we get down early in games," Murray said after playing his third straight game in place of Marc-Andre Fleury, who's out with a concussion. "We don't cheat, which is how you have to play. I think a lot of times the tendency when you get down would be to cheat for the offense and you might have a turnover and a chance the other way. We didn't do that."

Video: PIT@OTT: Hornqvist's second effort pays off with goal

Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman and Zack Smith scored for the Senators (36-35-9). Hammond made 24 saves but was unable to hold a 3-0 lead. It was the second consecutive home game in which the Senators blew a 3-0 lead. They lost 4-3 in overtime to the Anaheim Ducks on March 26.

The Penguins gave themselves a chance to win by killing a 5-on-3 Ottawa power play for 1:32 with the game tied 3-3 at 6:28 of the third period. Forward Nick Bonino and defenseman Ian Cole came up with three blocked shots and Murray made four saves.

Shortly after, Penguins defenseman Kris Letang swept a puck off the goal line after a shot by Ottawa's Alex Chiasson to keep the game tied.

"That 5-on-3 is huge," Crosby said. "We climb back in the game and they get a 5-on-3. It wasn't our best game by any stretch, but we definitely understood there were some key times in the game. [Letang] makes a key defensive play, we get a big kill on the 5-on-3 … sometimes it's not the whole 60 minutes, it's just the timing of things. We got some big plays at the right time to allow to get back in the game."

On the winning goal, Hagelin said he was looking for Kessel at the far post.

Video: PIT@OTT: Hagelin scores his second goal on a backhand

"The plan was to pass it to Phil, backdoor," he said. "It came off my stick a little bit weird and fooled the goalie. I'll take it."

The Senators were up 3-0 early in the second period, but the Penguins made it 3-2 before the period ended on goals by Hornqvist and Crosby.

Karlsson opened the scoring at 11:43 of the first period when his attempted pass deflected off the skate of Hornqvist and into the net. It was Karlsson's 16th goal of the season, and the 100th of his NHL career. He also became the 18th defenseman in NHL history to reach 80 points in a season.

The Senators made it 3-0 with goals early in the second period 1:12 apart by Hoffman and Smith.

"Again, I feel like we've been over this, this year. You're up 3-0, you've got to play the game the right way," Chiasson said. "We scored three goals, why do we need another goal? You've got to backcheck, you've got to play on the defensive side of the game. You've got to have good awareness, who's on the ice. We're a young group, we've got a lot to learn, but this is not the first time we've talked about this."

Video: PIT@OTT: Karlsson nets unconventional milestone goal

Senators coach Dave Cameron blamed some bad decision-making for the loss. Turnovers by Hoffman and Karlsson led to Hagelin's goals.

"We've been talking all along about puck management," he said. "We did a good job getting up 3-0 with the puck management, but with the game tight, we got away from it. In this league, against a surging team like Pittsburgh, that's where it ends up."

Forward Bobby Ryan left after the second period with a shoulder injury; Cameron said he's day-to-day.

Penguins coach Mike Sullivan admired his players' ability to dig their way out after falling behind.

"When we get down three goals, that's a tough climb. I loved the resilience our guys showed to crawl back, into it one goal at a time," he said. "Part of the identity of this group here moving forward is they've showed themselves that regardless of how the game goes, especially early on, if we get down in games, we have the ability to come back. I think it's an indication of the mindset of this group right now. There's a mental toughness there that we can battle through some of that adversity even though we're not at our best."

Video: Penguins score 5 unanswered goals in comeback win

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