Penguins Drop To Senators, 4-1

The Pittsburgh Penguins lost 4-1 at home on Thursday night to the #2 team in the league, the Ottawa Senators.  It was the Penguins’ second straight loss after winning 7 of their prior 8 games.  Despite the score, the Penguins played very well, especially coming off from an 8-2 loss against the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night. 

In the first period, it was all Penguins as they outshot the Senators 13-5.  Despite the numerous chances, the Penguins were unable to bury the puck behind goaltender Martin Gerber, who was oustanding in net and earned the game’s 1st star.

In the second, the Penguins got on the board first at 14:29 on a beautfiul play play by Evgeni Malkin at the blueline to evade the defense and drive in on net.  Malkin’s shot didn’t go in, but Tyler Kennedy picked up the rebound and put it in on net on the backhand.  Ryan Whitney picked up the other assist.  However, less than 2 minutes later, the Senators tied it up on blistering shot from the slot by Dany Heatley that got past Dany Sabourin.  Assists were credited to Andrej Meszaros and Jason Spezza.  The Penguins were outshot 12-7 in the second, and were 0 for 1 on the powerplay.

In the third, the Senators cashed in on two powerplay chances and then put in an empty netter to finish the scoring and win the game 4-1.  The first came at 5:43 off the stick of Jason Spezza as Sergei Gonchar sat on a  hooking call.  Christoph Schubert and Daniel Alfredsson picked up the assists.  The second came from Dany Heatley, his second of the night, from Joseph Corvo and Jason Spezza as Petr Sykora sat for an ill-timed cross-checking penalty.  The final goal came on the empty net from Jason Spezza, his second of the night, with assists by Andrej Meszaros and Mike Fisher.

Sidney Crosby couldn’t find the net, despite a career-high nine shots on goal, three coming on breakaways.  “Breakaways, you want to score,” Crosby said. “A good goal scorer finds ways to score on breakaways. For me, it was just a long night. He (Gerber) played well but breakaways, I like my chances.  When you get that many opportunities, it would be nice to find a way to get one,” he said.  Ottawa coach John Paddock said, “I know we gave him a lot of chances to score.  He’s not going to be denied very often with that many shots on goal.”  The Penguins got a scare in the second period after Crosby took a shot to the left foot.  Crosby, who broke that foot late last season, was in obvious pain as he hobbled to the bench, but returned later in the period. 

The Penguins hit the road again on Saturday as they take on the New York Islanders.   

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