Comeback Falls Short, Senators Lose to Penguins 5-4 (SO)
A recap of tonight's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Ottawa Senators
Things got off to a bad start for the Senators, as Robin Lehner gave up a bad goal one minute into the game to Penguins defenseman Kris Letang. Erik Karlsson had a chance to equalize things, but his bullet from the point rang off the post. Midway through the period, Eric Gryba's dump in hit the linesman in the back and led to a Sidney Crosby goal. Not a great period for Robin Lehner and a pretty sleepy period from the Senators more generally. Shots 11-6 in favour of Pittsburgh.
The second period was better from the Sens and picked up when Bobby Ryan was awarded a penalty shot after being tripped on a breakaway. Unfortunately for the Sens, he wasn't able to replicate some of his highlight reel goals from earlier in the season and was stopped by Tomas Greiss. Karlsson had another opportunity to get the Sens on the board, but couldn't settle a rolling puck down on a breakaway. Unfortunately for Ottawa, the Penguins responded with the third goal of the evening, from star Evgeni Malkin. The second came to a close with Pittsburgh up by three. Shots 10-6 in the period for the Sens.
The third started better for the Sens. Pittsburgh got into some penalty trouble early. First, Craig Adams took a tripping penalty on Neil and while the Sens weren't able to score, they started to generate some chances. A second penalty in quick succession to Kris Letang put the Sens right back on the power play where Bobby Ryan made a nice move to set up Mika Zibanejad, who used a spin move to put the puck past Greiss. At the halfway mark of the period, Ottawa started to make things interesting. An offensive faceoff win by Mika Zibanejad led to some nice passing between Erik Karlsson, Bobby Ryan, and Mike Hoffman. Hoffman put the Sens within one with an absolute bullet that went top corner.
Unfortunately, Pittsburgh wasn't done scoring. With about five minutes left in the period, a terrible breakout pass by Cody Ceci was intercepted by Chris Kunitz, whose wrist shot was saved easily by Lehner. However, Lehner couldn't track the rebound and Crosby quickly wristed the shot into Ottawa's net. Ceci's mistake was compounded by Mark Borowiecki's failure to take his man (Crosby) but it's a goal Lehner absolutely has to stop.
The Senators done though. A minute later Mark Stone scored to make it 4-3. On the ensuing faceoff, Kyle Turris broke through two Penguin blueliners and somehow got the puck to trickle past Greiss. It was a poor goal from the Pittsburgh goalie, but Ottawa will take it. Karlsson had a couple of chances to end it late, but was unable to convert. Overtime was an end-to-end affair with Karlsson and Hoffman looking particularly dangerous for the Senators and after looking shaky all game, Lehner made several key stops in the extra frame. Overtime solved nothing and Pittsburgh emerged victorious in the shootout. Final score, 5-4 Penguins. Shots 33-29 in favour of Ottawa.
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
Karlsson was his vintage self tonight. Several good breaks, some timely stretch passes, two assists, and 3 shots. He was the best player on the ice tonight.
Sens Hero: Bobby Ryan
Ryan missed the second part of the first period and was clearly battling through something all night. Still, he helped spur Ottawa's comeback with assists on Ottawa's first two goals. Just more of the same from BFR.
Honourable Mention: Kyle Turris
It's been tough for Turris lately, but tonight he made an impact. He scored the tying goal on a great individual effort and also added an assist to his total to go with his 3 shots. Good night for him.
Dishonourable Mention: Robin Lehner
After making strides in his last start, it was another step back for Lehner tonight. The first and fourth goals really shouldn't be going in. He did look a little better, if unorthodox, in overtime.
Sens Killer: Sidney Crosby
Two goals on five shots. Once again Crosby was a difference maker.
Shot chart via ESPN:
Game Flow via Natural Stat Trick:
Highlights via NHL.com: