James Neal, Evgeni Malkin lift Penguins past Senators in shootout
Ottawa, ON, Canada (4E Sports) – James Neal scored his fourth goal of the season and Evgeni Malkin delivered the game-winning score in the shootout as the Pittsburgh Penguins escaped with a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators Sunday at Scotiabank Place.
Netminder Marc-Andre Fleury tallied 31 saves and swatted an attempt by Milan Michalek in the first round of the shootout to help the Penguins snap a two-game losing streak and improve their record to 3-2.
Colin Greening scored the lone goal for the Senators, who dropped to 3-1-1. Craig Anderson had 34 saves through overtime but allowed Neal, Sidney Crosby and Malkin score in the shootout.
Ottawa controlled the early part of the contest but the Penguins drew first blood when Malkin picked off a long breakout pass by Zack Smith.
Malkin then blew past Smith along the left boards, sent a cross-ice pass to Neal, who hit a rocket past Anderson’s glove hand at the 13:31 mark of the first period.
The Penguins nearly grabbed a 2-0 lead when Brandon Sutter snuck up on Anderson and almost slipped a backhanded shot past his left pad.
Ottawa had an opportunity to tie the game in the dying seconds of the first period but Erik Condra’s breakaway try was stymied by Kris Letang.
In the second, the Senators tied the game when Fleury dropped the puck after a shot by Jason Spezza, resulting in a tap-in by Greening.
Crosby almost gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead when he picked up a giveaway by Erik Karlsson along the boards. Crosby fired a wrist shot on Anderson but the goalie saw the puck in time to make the stick save.
Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen left the game after the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return.