Ottawa 6 – Pittsburgh 2
Missing three regulars on defense caught up with the Penguins Thursday night as the Ottawa Senators scored 6 unanswered goals and Pascal Leclaire made 25 saves, leading the Senators to a 6-2 victory at Scotiabank Place.
The Senators handed the Penguins their worst loss of the season and chased goaltender Marc Andre Fleury from the net in the third period. Fleury was not sharp and gave up 5 goals on 24 shots.
Pittsburgh scored a 1:09 into the game, on a goal from Jordan Staal to take a 1-0 lead but the Senators began to take over the game mid-way through the second period and Pittsburgh didn’t have many answers.
Ottawa went on to score 6 straight goals that included 4 third period goals. The Senators wore down the Penguins with an aggressive fore-check.
“Gotta make sure were ready for tough games, Sidney Crosby said. “They put a lot of pressure on our D, and we didn’t do a good job of getting the puck out of our zone.”
Down 6-1 late in the third period, Evgeni Malkin scored a power play goal at 17:49 in the third to make it 6-2. The goal was Pittsburgh’s second consecutive game with a power play goal but this was the type of game that Pittsburgh needed its power play to bail them out and it didn’t.
The Senators were the more competitive team and a key point in the game was the second period when Pittsburgh couldn’t take advantage of three power play opportunities in the period, when the Senators only led by a goal.
A number of players admitted after the game that the Penguins didn’t play good hockey in the first and second period and Senators just took it to them in the third.
Pittsburgh opened the third period with a carry over power play and just seconds after their power play ended, Chris Kelly scored to put the Senators up 3-1 and things just went downhill for Pittsburgh after that.
Kelly’s goal was the turning point in the game as all momentum shifted to Ottawa.
This was the type of game where Pittsburgh didn’t have it. That’s going to happen but the power play is becoming a serious problem. The Penguins rank 29th in the NHL on the power play and the problem inside the locker room is that they don’t think there is a problem.
Next Game: 11/21 @ Atlanta
*Defenseman Mark Eaton (back spasms) was a game time decision and did play. Eaton did not participate in the morning skate and Pittsburgh recalled defenseman Chris Lee as insurance just in case Eaton could not play.
*Lee will be re-assigned to Wilkes Barre Friday morning. Defenseman Brooks Orpik will return to the lineup Saturday night against Atlanta.
*Defenseman Deryk Engelland had a team worst plus minus rating of -4.
*Winger Max Talbot made his season debut and saw 13:17 of ice time.
*Goaltender Marc Andre Fleury is 3-7 in his last 10 games.