Malone Scores Twice as Penguins Fall 5-4 to Senators

The Pittsburgh Penguins lost a tough one to the Ottawa Senators 5-4 on Saturday afternoon.  It is an afternoon that Sergei Gonchar would rather soon forget.  He would probably also like to forget the name Daniel Alfredsson.  Early in the 2nd period, Alfredsson blocked a Gonchar power-play shot and then blew past him to score a short-handed goal.  Then, late in the 2nd, Sergei Gonchar took a double minor for cross-checking Daniel Alfredsson after some chippy play.  During the ensuing 4-minutes in penalties, the Penguins gave up 2 goals.  The Gonchar penalty provided the game’s turning point by allowing the Senators to take a 5-3 lead.  Although Evgeni Malkin was able to get a goal late in the 3rd to draw within 1, the Penguins were never able to find the equalizer.

In the 1st period, the Penguins got on the board first at 8:43 as Ryan Malone tipped in an Evgeni Malkin feed.  Petr Sykora picked up the other assist.  AT 15:11, the Senators evened it up as Antoine Vermett tipped in a shot past Ty Conklin.  Wade Redden and Cory Stillman were credietd with the assists on the play.  Then, a minute later, Ryan Malone turned over the puck in the Penguins zone which led to a Daniel Alfredsson goal to make it 2-1.  Anton Volchenkov was credited with the lone assist.  However, with just 12 seconds left in the period and the Penguins on a power play, Petr Sykora roofed a shot over Martin Gerber to tie it back up at 2.  The Penguins were outshot 13-8 in the 1st, and were 1-for-1 on the man advantage. 

In the 2nd, the Senators got on the board first at 1:30 as Daniel Alfredsson blocked a Sergei Gonchar shot and then took the puck in and beat Ty Conklin short-handed.  But the Penguins would battle back to score a goal of their own about a minute later as Ryan Malone picked up a rebound and threw it behind Martin Gerber for his second of the night.  Alex Goligoski and Evgeni Malkin were credited with the assists.  Then at 13:40, Sergei Gonchar was assessed the double-minor for cross-checking Daniel Alfredsson.  The Senators took full advantage of the opportunity with 2 quick power play goals.  The first came from Martin Lapointe at 14:40.  Ty Conklin made the save, but the rebound deflected off from Darryl Sydor’s skate and into the net.  Then at 16:12, Dany Heatley rocketed one past Ty Conklin to make it 5-3.  The Penguins were outshot 11-9 in the 2nd and were 0-for-4 on the power play.  They gave up 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. 

In the 3rd, the Penguins doubled up the Senators by outshooting them 12-6, but it was enough to even the score.  At 14:06, Evgeni Malkin stripped Jason Spezza of the puck and skated it the length of the rink to blast it by Martin Gerber for an unassisted goal that made it 5-4.  The goal was Malkin’s 37th of the season and 3rd point (1G, 2A) of the night to extend his lead in the NHL scoring race.  The Penguins managed to kill off their only penalty in the 3rd.

The Penguins return to Pittsburgh for a 3PM matinee against the Atlanta Thrashers on Sunday. 

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