Ottawa 3 ‚Äì Pittsburgh 1
Ottawa Senators RW Dany Heatley scored two power play goals to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins. The goaltending was strong in this game as Senators G Alex Auld made 30 saves and was on the verge of a shutout until rookie defenseman Alex Goligoski scored his 1st career NHL goal with 1.1 seconds left in the third period. Penguins goaltender Marc Andre Fleury played well enough for the Penguins to win but the Ottawa Senators won the special teams game scoring two power play goals. The Penguins power play continues to struggle without D Sergei Gonchar. The Penguins went 1-for-7 on the day and finished the weekend 1-14. Down 1-0 going into the third period, Penguins head coach Michel Therrien switched his lines up playing Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin together which has been a common theme when the Penguins are down late in a game. Malkin and Crosby created chances but they weren‚Äôt able to solve Auld. The Penguins return to Pittsburgh tomorrow and are off until they face the New Jersey Devils on October 11th
Shots PIT 31 ‚Äì OTT 27
Hits PIT 32 ‚Äì OTT 23
Face Offs PIT 28 – OTT 28
Pittsburgh 1-7 on the power play: 1-14 in two games
1. OTT Dany Heatley (1st 13:07) Assists: Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredson (OTT 1-0)
2. OTT Dany Heatley (3rd 12:17) Assists: Daniel Alfredson, Filip Kuba (OTT 2-0)
3. OTT Antoine Vermette (3rd 15:50) Assists: Jesse Winchester, Filip Kuba (OTT 3-0)
1. Pitt Alex Goligoski (3rd 19:59) Assists: Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin (OTT 3-1)
The positive out of this road trip is the Penguins come home with two points. You don‚Äôt want to be going home like the Tampa Bay Lightning who lost both games in Prague.
The Ottawa Senators won the special teams game and that‚Äôs why they won the game. Marc Andre Fleury played good enough for the Penguins to win. Pittsburgh couldn‚Äôt execute on the power play and struggled on the penalty kill giving up two power play goals.
Head coach Michel Therrien switched up the lines throughout the game. Therrien moved Tyler Kennedy up to Crosby‚Äôs line in the second period and Satan saw some time with Malkin. During the third period Fedotenko-Crosby-Malkin played together. Crosby also skated with Bissonnette and Godard for a few shifts. Therrien did the same thing last year with Ruutu and Laraque
Matt Cooke had a very good game. Unofficial stats but I had him marked down with at least 9 hits today.
Rob Scuderi has been one of the Penguins top defensemen this weekend. He cleaned up his own end very well. Brooks Orpik had a better performance today. It‚Äôs going to take some time for Orpik and Letang to get comfortable with each other.
Miroslav Satan and Pascal Dupuis have been non-existent
Jarkko Ruutu had his eye on Sidney Crosby today. He took a couple dirty shots on Crosby.
Eric Godard can‚Äôt play at all but he will go after players who cheap shot Crosby or Malkin. As soon as Jason Smith roughed up Crosby, Godard was in his face. That was good to see
Burning Questions facing the Penguins this week
1. Power Play ‚Äì The Penguins being 1-14 on the power play should not be surprising. Sergei Gonchar is a difference maker and his absence is already being missed. The puck movement has been fine. The issue is players like Goligoski have been tentative to shoot the puck. Goligoski is more of playmaker on the power play than a shooter but he‚Äôs going to have to change that trend. Scoring his 1st NHL goal in the third period is a start. Another glaring weakness with this power play is the lack of a right handed shot in the slot.
2. Penalty Kill ‚Äì The Penguins penalty kill ranked 23rd last season and today the penalty kill was a issue. The Penguins won 28 face offs today but they lost a few critical face-offs in the defensive zone when they were on penalty kill. Expect to see an emphasis on special teams this week in practice
more to come