Senators Lose 4-2 to Penguins

The Ottawa Senators had a tough task on their hands even before they stepped onto the ice Wednesday night.  Coming off a crucial 2-0 victory over the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday, the Sens flew into Pittsburgh to meet a rested Penguin squad on home ice.  Playing back-to-back home-road games isn’t easy for any team – playing the 2nd game against an offensive powerhouse like the Pens almost guarantees failure.

And the news didn’t get much better once the game got underway.  Shortly before the start of the first period, it was announced Milan Michalek would be a late scratch due to a lower body injury he suffered during warmup.  That meant that the Senators would be forced to dress 7 defenceman and play with 11 forwards; not ideal when opposing the likes of Crosby, Malkin, Neal & Kunitz.

So with the Penguins leading 1-0 on a Pascal Dupuis goal, it looked as though the game was going to go according to script. That was until Marc-Andre Fleury decided to let the Senators into the game.  Just as the seconds ticked away on an Ottawa 2-man advantage, Stephane Da Costa’s shot from behind the net, trickled through Fleury and tied the game.  24 seconds later, Jim O”Brien’s wrister hit Fleury’s glove and rolled into the net to give the Senators a 2-1 lead.  James Neal would tie it once again on the power-play, but that wouldn’t be the worst news for the Senators.

In a battle with the Penguins’ Matt Cooke, Erik Karlsson immediately dropped to the ice and could not put any pressure on his left leg.  He was helped off the ice and taken straight to the dressing room.  Replays showed Cooke’s skate digging into the back of Karlsson’s calf.  The team officially deemed it a cut to the lower leg – he did not return.

To add insult to injury, Matt Cooke would then create the turnover that lead to James Neal’s go-ahead goal.  Crosby added another, but the final score didn’t matter as Karlsson’s injury spread a dark cloud over the remainder of the evening.

Paul MacLean (audio)

https://vr.shapeservices.com/listen.php?hash=4c35b76a4bd035055f4f9cc831ce2dce8068510a472857b37

Daniel Alfredsson, Paul MacLean, Craig Anderson, Marc Methot postgame (video – SensTV)

http://video.senators.nhl.com/videocenter/console?id=201496

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