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Penguins Suffer Defensive Collapse - Fall to Senators in OT 4-3

The Penguins couldn't hold onto their three goal lead...

Heading into Saturday's game in Pittsburgh, the Penguins were hoping to pose as top contenders in the Eastern Conference with a win over the Ottawa Senators.  The Senators, leaders in the conference since the first month of the season, have found themselves in a bit of a slump since a goaltending fiasco between Martin Gerber and Ray Emery has left the team as an on-ice question mark.  Can the Senators still finish on top? Are the Senators defensively sound enough to still tally a 'W'?

If the early afternoon game against the Penguins posed as any evidence to those questions, then the answer is a solidified 'yes'.  

The Penguins, winners of their last three, have been staying in the heat of playoff contention thanks to last minute heroics and come from behind victories.  In today's effort, the Pens were victims of their own ways.

Four straight, unanswered goals from the Senators, kept Ottawa on top of the Eastern Conference for yet another day.  The overtime finish awarded the Pens a pity point and a thanks for playing pat on the back, but the two points were well within their grasp.

Ty Conklin's effort was nothing short of spectacular, regardless of adding another digit to the 'O' column in his season record of 16-4-5.

Evgeni Malkin's ten game point streak came to its untimely end as the Pens' superstar failed to register on the stats sheet.  The Ottawa Sens' defense had Malkin on lockdown for the game, although he still managed to unleash a few deveasting shots barely pushed aside by Ottawa's Ray Emery.

The overtime loss and pity point keeps the Penguins hot on the trail for first place in the East. Ottawa's win keeps them in first place with 78 points, while New Jersey, Pittsburgh and Montreal linger close behind with 77, 76 and 75 points respectively.

The Penguins take on the Sharks tomorrow at 3:00 in Pittsburgh.