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Penguins Lose Penalty-Filled Game; PK Flops in 5-4 OT Defeat



Pittsburgh Penguins game, lose to Ottawa Senators 5-4 OT

The Pittsburgh Penguins knew going in that Ottawa has one of the NHL’s better power plays.

And if the Penguins didn’t fully appreciate just how lethal that unit can be, they got a crash course Wednesday evening, when the Senators scored four man-advantage goals in Ottawa’s 5-4 overtime victory at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Senators’ only even-strength goal came 25 seconds into overtime, when Brady Tkachuk scored the game-winner from the slot.

“It went through me,” goalie Casey DeSmith said. “Kind of snuck through my armpit.”

Ottawa finished with a 40-19 edge in shots, with 14 of those coming during the Senators’ nine power plays.

The Penguins (22-15-7) again played without their top three right-handed defensemen, as Kris Letang, Jeff Petry and Jan Rutta continue to recover from injuries. It is not known if any will be available when the Penguins and Senators will complete their home-and-home series Friday at 7:08 p.m. at PPG Paints Arena.

The first period was fast-paced literally from the first shift — Ottawa goalie Cam Talbot was forced to make a good glove save on Bryan Rust just 22 seconds after the opening faceoff — and both teams generated numerous quality scoring chances.

Jason Zucker was the first player to convert one, backhanding in a loose puck at 6:36 after Talbot failed to catch a Marcus Pettersson shot. Evgeni Malkin picked up the second assist on that goal, Zucker’s 12th.

Just 33 seconds after Zucker scored, however, Jeff Carter was assessed a double-minor for high-sticking Ottawa’s Derick Brassard, and the Senators made the most of both opportunities.

Alex DeBrincat tied the game at 7:44, beating DeSmith high on the stick side with a shot from inside the left circle.

The Senators then took a 2-1 lead as Carter’s second minor was ending, with Tim Stutzle scoring from the slot at 9:44.

The Penguins subsequently failed to take advantage of Ottawa forward Austin Watson interfering with Mark Friedman, but got their latest in a series of 5-on-3 power plays when Malkin drew a pair of penalties in a span of 53 seconds.

Although they never seriously threatened with the two-man advantage, the Pittsburgh Penguins pulled even when Malkin knocked in a Ty Smith rebound from the right side of the crease at 15:23 for his 16th. Sidney Crosby received the second assist.

The Penguins got a go-ahead goal from an unlikely source at 3:07 of the second, as Friedman put a shot from the top of the left circle off Talbot’s glove and in for his first of the season and fourth in 49 NHL games. Pettersson and Crosby received assists.

The Senators got their fifth try with the extra man when Kasperi Kapanen was sent off for hooking at 7:55 and again made the most of it, as Drake Batherson scored from the front lip of the crease at 9:19.

That was the fifth man-advantage goal the Penguins allowed in five regulation periods, dating to the start of the Anaheim game Monday.

Before Batherson tied the game, Carter had a chance to pad the Penguins’ advantage on a 2-on-1 shorthanded break with Rust, but whiffed on his shot attempt.

After seeing Ottawa convert on three power plays, the Penguins presumably recognized that trying to stay out of the penalty box would be a prudent strategy, but with 40.1 seconds to go before the intermission, Rust was penalized for hooking, then picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct minor for protesting the call.

The Pittsburgh Penguins, though, were able to get through those four minutes unscathed.

They finally got another chance with the extra man when Senators defenseman Jacob Bernard-Docker went off for roughing Zucker — roughing apparently involved striking an opponent in the face with your stick — at 7:31, but that opportunity ended prematurely when P.O Joseph cross-checked Dylan Gambrell at 9:10.

Joseph had 12 seconds left on his penalty when Shane Pinto beat DeSmith from near the left hash to put Ottawa back on top, 4-3, but Ottawa paid for an unforced error of its own a few minutes later.

The Senators were caught with too many men on the ice at 11:30, and 63 seconds after that, Rickard Rakell threw a turning shot past Talbot from below the left hash to force the overtime. Crosby and Malkin picked up assists on the goal, Rakell’s 16th.