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4th straight shootout finds another loss for the Pens

The last four games the Pens have played have come down to the shootout.  Each of those four games featured a team rallying from two goals down in the 3rd period (twice the Pens came back, twice they let a team in).  And they're 2-2 in the shootouts.  Hopefully this stretch is over.

  • How about Eric Godard opening the scoring up in the first period?  He put the puck on his hip like a pro and drove to the net, threw it there and it ended up scoring on his first shift of the game.  Godard would go on to get two more shifts, so he obviously wasn't rewarded.
  • Ottawa's first goal to tie the game was the result of an Evgeni Malkin faceoff loss and a weird seeing-eye-shot.  That's not the first time you'll see either of those comments in this recap.
  • The Penguins looked like they put the game in the bag with two second period goals to make the game 3-1.  Sidney Crosby sneaked free and Mark Eaton (!!) made a great pass.  Eaton played the puck exceptionally well on that sequence in general.  Then on a two-on-one, Matt Cooke got the puck over to Tyler Kennedy who buried it.  Game over, right?
  • Wrong.  Early in the 3rd, Sergei Gonchar took a penalty and once that was killed Marc-Andre Fleury had a lapse and lashed out at Chris Neil for no apparent reason.  The Sens didn't score on that PP but it was a sign of things to come.  Nick Foligno scored on a seeing-eye shot and then Chris Phillips drove to the net and beat Chris Kunitz to flip the puck into the net.  Tie game 3-3.
  • Fleury redeemed himself later.  Gonchar got called for a ticky-tack penalty with 5 seconds left in regulation.  It was Jordan Staal's turn to keep losing faceoffs and the Sens cranked up the pressure.   Ottawa outshot Pittsburgh 11-1 in the over-time but MAF had the answer every time.

Ottawa deserves credit, they basically have nothing left to play for but still showed up and didn't roll over at all.  This should send a message to the Pens who play teams like Atlanta and LA next week; just because a team may not be up there in the standings doesn't mean they're going to bend over for the mighty Penguins.

The Pens now have 80 points, with 12 games remaining, keeping 6th place for the moment.  Right now NY Rangers have 78 points and 13 games, Carolina has 78 and 12, and Florida is currently on the outside looking in with 77 points but 14 games remaining.

Pittsburgh isn't out of the woods yet.  They need to keep it together for the quick turnaround time for tomorrow's afternoon game against Boston.