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Recap: Pens take one on the chin in Ottawa

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The Pittsburgh Penguins suffer another injury to a key player and ran out of gas one game before the Christmas break, dropping a 5-0 game in Ottawa.

Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo

The Pittsburgh Penguins came into the game against the Ottawa Senators as winners of nine out of ten games in December, despite playing with an increasingly depleted roster as injuries ate away at their team.

Well, they ran out of gas one game early, dropping a 5-0 decision on the road to the Ottawa Senators a game before some reinforcements are expected to be back.

The game started with a bang and another scary injury. Ottawa defenseman Marc Methot cracked Sidney Crosby with a hip check and Crosby flew into Pascal Dupuis. Dupuis’ leg buckled underneath him and, to make matters even worse, Crosby’s skate came dangerously close to Dupuis’ face. Dupuis would be helped off the ice and wouldn’t return and Crosby left for most of the period as well.

Understandably, the Pens effort was disjointed from there. They tried to hang into the game, down only 1-0 after the first period and out-shot the Sens 12-4 in the second period. During that period they had a couple of great chances- Brandon Sutter had a short-handed breakaway, Chris Conner has a point-blank chance that Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson made a great glove save on. The Pens also had four power play chances in the second period but just couldn’t crack Anderson and at that point the writing seemed on the wall- it just wasn’t their night.

Ottawa didn’t leave much doubt either, early in the 3rd period Erik Karlsson made a sublime move past Olli Maatta and roofed a puck to make it 3-0. Later, Karlsson displayed some Crosby-like vision to throw a centering pass right on the stick of Kyle Turris to slam an easy goal home for 4-0. A little later Cory Conacher scored just for s’s and g’s to cap the scoring.

Not too much more to say than that, the Pens limp home after being humbled, but all things considered, should be just happy to get to the holiday break. Hopefully Dupuis’ injury isn’t as bad as it looks, and luckily, for the first time in a while, the team could be actually improving from game-to-game with expected return of injured vets about to happen.