Pens Fall to Senators 3-1
Sidney Crosby extended his points streak to 24 games on Sunday night against the Ottawa Senators.
Crosby scored his 30th goal of the season with 3:22 remaining in the game but on this night, Crosby was overshadowed by Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson, who netted two goals and added an assist in leading the Senators to a 3-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins (24-11-2) at Scotiabank place.
The Penguins returning to action after the holiday break were undisciplined early in the game and the Senators scored two power play goals with one of those goals coming on a Sidney Crosby hooking penalty and the Senators later added an even strength goal on a delayed slashing call against Crosby in the first period.
Mike Fisher scored the first of Ottawa’s two power-play goals at the 9:14 mark, deflecting an Erik Karlsson shot past Fleury and Karlsson made it 2-0 at 13:42 in the first during a delayed slashing call against Crosby.
Karlsson would add his second goal of the game just 20 seconds into the second period and Ottawa had total control of the game. Karlsson was a dynamic offensive threat in the game, collecting goals 7 and 8 on the season.
The Senators also got good production from Jason Spezza who had three assists for Ottawa, but Spezza left in the second with a shoulder injury after Kris Letang delivered a hard hit.
Crosby’s 30th goal of the season spoiled Brian Elliott’s shutout bid but Elliott was excellent between the pipes, making 44 saves to give Ottawa a much needed win.
Elliott was at his best in the second period, turning aside 22 Pittsburgh shots. The Penguins outshot Ottawa 45-24.
This was a game where the Penguins ran into a hot goaltender and needed their power play to be a spark in the game and it wasn’t. Pittsburgh was 0-for-4 on the man-advantage.
Marc-Andre Fleury made 21 saves in the loss. Fleury came into the game 15-1-1 in his last 17 games.
Goaltender Brent Johnson sat out his second straight game due to a groin injury. John Curry served as Fleury’s backup.
Arron Asham missed his second straight game due to a groin injury. Also scratched for Pittsburgh was Ben Lovejoy who did not participate in warmups.
Senators defenseman Chris Phillips appeared in his 900th career game.