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Aftermath: Senators 4, Penguins 3 SO

by Sam Kasan / Pittsburgh Penguins
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Bylsma | Crosby |   Fleury
Pittsburgh kicked off its eight-game home stand by falling, 4-3, to the Ottawa Senators in a shootout. The Penguins lost a two-goal, third-period lead but still picked up an important point in the standings.  

Marc-Andre Fleury was spectacular in the game, picking up 36 saves - 11 in overtime. He “stood on his head” in the final half of the third period and overtime to give his team a chance to pull off a victory. Unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be.  

The Penguins will have little time to dwell on the outcome as they host the Eastern Conference leading Boston Bruins at Mellon Arena Sunday afternoon.
(AP)  -Mike Comrie scored the deciding goal in the shootout and the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Saturday for their fifth win in six games.

Comrie skated slowly down the right side of the slot, faked to his backhand, hesitated while pulling the puck buck, and slid a forehand shot that hit goalie Marc-Andre Fleury's right pad and trickled in off the left post.

Chris Campoli, Nick Foligno and Chris Phillips scored in regulation for Ottawa, which trailed 3-1 with eight minutes left but improved to 11-6-3 under interim coach Cory Clouston.

Eric Godard, Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy scored for Pittsburgh, which has lost two straight shootouts after a seven-game winning streak. The Penguins have gone to a shootout in a franchise-record four straight games.

Pos. Team GP Record Pts
4. Philadelphia 67 37-20-10 84
5. Montreal 68 36-24-8 80
6. Pittsburgh 70 36-26-8 80
7. NY Rangers 69 35-26-8 78
8. Carolina 70 36-28-6 78
9. Florida 68 34-25-9 77
10. Buffalo 68 34-27-7 75

Team Notables:
Buffalo: Hosts Atlanta at 7 p.m.
Carolina: Plays at Washington at 7 p.m.
Florida: Hosts Tampa Bay at 7 p.m.
Montreal: Hosts New Jersey at 7 p.m.
NY Rangers: Lost at Philadelphia, 4-2
Philadelphia: Won vs. NY Rangers, 4-2

Marc-Andre Fleury makes one of his 36 saves against Ottawa (photo by Getty)
What Worked Well: Penalty Killing
Interim head coach Dan Bylsma has worked one-on-one with the Penguins’ penalty killing unit. That attention to detail is paying off in a big way. Pittsburgh has successfully killed 21 of its last 22 shorthanded situations. Ottawa had seven power-play chances in the game – including 55 seconds on a five-on-three – but came up empty. The Penguins killed a crucial power play in overtime to preserve the second point.

What Could Have Gone Better: Holding the Lead
The Senators entered the game with a 1-25-2 record when trailing after two periods. Pittsburgh had Ottawa right where it wanted them, losing 3-1 in the final frame. However, the Senators never gave up and played a strong third period. They scored two goals to tie the game, eventually winning in overtime. The Penguins still earned an important point in the standings and every little thing counts at this time of year.  
The Penguins role players stepped up in a big way in the game. Eric Godard and Tyler Kennedy each tallied a goal, while Mark Eaton, Pascal Dupuis, Matt Cooke and Brooks Orpik collected assists. Sidney Crosby scored a goal, but the Penguins had big contributions throughout the lineup in the game.

HONORABLE MENTION: Marc-Andre Fleury (see Intriguing Notables)
The always deadly Eric Godard scored the game’s opening goal. Pascal Dupuis chipped the puck out of the Penguins zone and up ice. Godard retrieved the puck in Ottawa’s zone. He skated below the goal line and attempted a centering pass to Maxime Talbot. The puck, however, deflected off of Jesse Winchester’s skate in front of the net and behind goalie Brian Elliott. Pittsburgh 1, Ottawa 0.

Ottawa tied the game halfway through the second period with a goal off of a faceoff. Winchester won the faceoff and former Penguin Jarkko Ruutu collected the puck in the circle and pushed it to Chris Campoli at the point. Campoli’s wrist shot eluded Marc-Andre Fleury. Pittsburgh 1, Ottawa 1.

Pittsburgh took the lead on Sidney Crosby’s 27th goal of the season. Crosby was cycling the puck low in the near corner of the Senators zone. He then sneaked behind the net and positioned himself on the opposite side of the action. Mark Eaton took the puck in the near circle. He made a cross-ice pass, through two Senators, to Crosby on the other side of the net. Crosby buried the one-timer for the score. Pittsburgh 2, Ottawa 1.

Matt Cooke set up Pittsburgh’s third goal with a great individual effort. Cooke pushed the puck out of the Penguins zone. Campoli stepped up on Cooke at the blue line but lost his stick in the process and Cooke got around him. Tyler Kennedy jumped into the play to create a two-on-one. Cooke sent a cross-ice pass that Kennedy settled down and then roofed into the goal. Pittsburgh 3, Ottawa 1.

Ottawa cut into the Penguins’ lead in the third period. Nick Foligno had the puck high in the near circle towards the wall. His shot sneaked through four bodies in front of the net and behind Fleury. Pittsburgh 3, Ottawa 2.

Ottawa tied the game with a little over seven minutes left in the third period. Dany Heatley came streaking down the far side. He took a shot that hit the crossbar and fell into the paint. Phillips skated in to poke the puck over the line. Pittsburgh 3, Ottawa 3.

Sidney Crosby and Daniel Alfredsson each scored in the shootout, which went five-shooters deep. But Mike Comrie gave Ottawa the victory with a thrifty maneuver close to the goal. Ottawa 4, Pittsburgh 3.
Petr Sykora returned to the Penguins’ lineup after missing the previous three games with an undisclosed injury. Craig Adams was the lone Penguins’ scratch. With only two injured players currently (Philippe Boucher and Mike Zigomanis), this is the healthiest the Penguins have been all season.

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, normally very cool and collected in the net, let out some steam on Ottawa’s Chris Neil. Fleury bobbled a shot and eventually covered the puck. Neil sprayed some ice into Fleury’s face as he stopped in front of the crease. The netminder took exception to that gesture and responded with a few punches to show his disapproval.

Fleury was incredible in overtime. He made several big saves and the Mellon Arena crowd chanted “Fleury! Fleury!” in a show of appreciation. Fleury was phenomenal with the Penguins shorthanded and then he shut the door while Ottawa bombarded the net. He made 11 saves in the extra frame.
> Pittsburgh record is now 36-26-8 on the year, with an 18-11-3 mark at Mellon Arena, and is 7-0-2 in its last nine games. It was the fourth straight shootout game for Pittsburgh. The team is 2-2 in those contests.

> Pittsburgh is 9-1-3 since Dan Bylsma was named interim head coach. They were 8-1-1 in his first 10 games behind the bench, the best start through 10 games for a Penguins head coach in franchise history (Herb Brooks, 7-2-1).

> Scoring Summary:
PIT, E.Godard (2), 6:05 1st period: Penguins 1, Senators 0
OTT, C.Campoli (9), 8:36 1st period: Penguins 1, Senators 1
PIT, S.Crosby (27), 5:56 2nd period: Penguins 2, Senators 1
PIT, T.Kennedy (12), 18:26 2nd period: Penguins 3, Senators 1
OTT, N.Foligno (14), 12:00 3rd period: Penguins 3, Senators 2
OTT, C.Phillips (6), 13:54 3rd period: Penguins 3, Senators 3
SO, (S.Crosby) (D.Alfredsson)

> Evgeni Malkin was scoreless against Ottawa but still leads the NHL in scoring with 97 points (30G-67A). Malkin’s 67 assists are a league-best and a new single-season career high. He has tallied 30-plus goals in three straight seasons.

> Malkin has points in 11 of his 13 games for 16 points (6G-10A).

> Sidney Crosby scored a goal against Ottawa. He is third in the league in scoring with 87 points (27G-60A) and his 60 assists are second most in the league behind teammate Malkin’s 67. Crosby has a nine-game scoring streak, tallying 15 points (6G-9A) over that span.

> Marc-Andre Fleury made 36 saves against Ottawa. He’s won nine of his past 12 games and made his 18th straight start.

> Tyler Kennedy scored a goal against the Senators. He has two goals and two assists in for four points in his last six games.

> Mellon Arena sold out for the 99th straight game with a standing room only attendance of 17,132.
1. D.Alfredsson, OTT
2. S.Crosby, PIT
3. M.Comrie, OTT
I don’t think we were awful, but we made a couple of mistakes,
and you can’t afford to do that, especially this time
of year, especially when you make one mistake
andthe puck is in your net."
- Sidney Crosby


Author: Sam Kasan

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