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Ottawa Beats Penguins, 2-1, in OT; How Low is Rock-Bottom?



Tuesday night, the Pittsburgh Penguins actually found themselves matched with an opponent that was struggling even more than they have been lately.

It didn’t matter.

Ottawa, which had been 0-6-1 in its previous seven games, defeated the Penguins, 2-1, in overtime at Canadian Tire Centre.

Drake Batherson got the game-winner at 3:13 of the extra period, beating Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry from the bottom of the left circle.

Both teams had exceptionally good chances to score before Batherson ended it.

Senators defenseman Jake Sanderson broke a 0-0 tie at 11:06 of the third period when he threw a shot past Jarry from between the hash marks, but Penguins winger Michael Bunting forced overtime when he capped an extended flurry by knocking in a shot from the right side of the crease with 22.6 seconds remaining in regulation.

The loss was the Penguins’ fourth in a row (0-3-1) and dropped their record in the past eight games to 1-6-1.

Ottawa won all three games in the season series, with both of its victories on home ice coming in overtime.

Forward Drew O’Connor, who had missed the previous three games because of a concussion, rejoined the Penguins’ lineup. He was deployed at right wing on the No. 2 line, with Evgeni Malkin and Reilly Smith.

Bryan Rust nearly gave the Penguins (28-27-9) a 1-0 lead seconds after the opening faceoff, but was unable to beat Senators goalie Joonas Korpisalo from point-blank range.

The Penguins got the first power play of the game after defenseman John Ludvig laid out Ottawa forward Jiri Smejkal with a big hit, prompting Senators center Mark Kastelic to go after Ludvig. Their run-in was brief and not particularly violent — Ludvig wrestled him to the ice almost immediately — but Kastelic was assessed an unsportsmanlike conduct minor for his trouble.

Although the Pittsburgh Penguins did not score on that man-advantage, they had another quality chance just over 4 1/2 minutes into the period, when O’Connor slid a pass to Valtteri Puustinen in front of the Ottawa net. Puustinen did not appear to be expecting the pass, though, and the puck slid a few inches in front of his stick.

Jarry, who finished with 37 saves and was the biggest reason the Penguins were able to salvage a point, made his best stop of the period with about 40 seconds remaining, after Ottawa’s Tim Stutzle burst down the left side and got around Erik Karlsson.

The Senators were awarded a chance with the man-advantage with 4.1 seconds to go before intermission, as Sidney Crosby was sent off for tripping Stutzle. Ottawa was credited with one shot while Crosby was in the penalty box.

The Penguins had the better of play for much of the second period but Ottawa got another opportunity with the extra man when Kris Letang high-sticked Shane Pinto at 13:07.

The Penguins’ penalty-killers held the Senators without a shot during that penalty, but the Senators’ offense got more threatening in the closing minutes of the period.

Jarry had to make several quality stops, including one on Stutzle from the right side of the crease with about 3:10 to go, to preserve the 0-0 tie.

Ottawa dominated the early minutes of the third and appeared to take a 1-0 lead at 4:08, but the goal was disallowed after a video review determined that Senators winger Mathieu Joseph had interfered with Jarry by lifting his mask with his stick blade a second or so before the puck entered the net.

After the game, the Pittsburgh Penguins called off the practice that had been scheduled for Wednesday at noon at UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex.