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Ottawa at Pittsburgh

Pens drop Sens in shootout win, now tied for fourth in East race

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PITTSBURGH -- Jarkko Ruutu is the Pittsburgh Penguins' fourth-line winger, a player with 30 career goals in parts of seven seasons.

But now he has become a go-to guy in the shootout.

Ruutu's backhand move got the puck past goalie Ray Emery and Pittsburgh tied the Ottawa Senators for fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with a 4-3 win Sunday night.

"He'll get another shot, that's for sure," said Penguins coach Michel Therrien of Ruutu, who is 3-for-6 in his career in the shootout. "I asked him before how he felt, and he said, 'I feel pretty good about it.'"

Pittsburgh's victory gives each team 92 points, with Ottawa having one more victory and the Penguins holding a game in hand.

Sidney Crosby and Ryan Whitney had a goal and an assist for the Penguins, who have won five in a row, are 7-0-1 in their past eight and moved within two points of the New Jersey Devils for the Atlantic Division lead.

Daniel Alfredsson and Antoine Vermette also scored for the Senators, who are 4-0-4 in their past eight and 12-1-5 in their past 18.

Ruutu was used in the shootout for only the second time this season since replacing Evgeni Malkin in that role last week. Malkin is the team's leading goal scorer who has more goals in his rookie season, then Ruutu does in his career.

"I'm confident in (shootouts), and it's great when the coach trusts you," said Ruutu.

Five of the past eight Penguins games have been decided in a shootout -- including a 5-4 Pittsburgh win in Ottawa 12 days ago.

This game was decided by a move so slow and calculated by Ruutu that Therrien was compelled to say with a smile, "He took his time, let's put it that way."

"It was weird, man," said Emery. "He came down really slow, a guy like that who doesn't get many minutes coming down in the shootout, you know he's got something coming up. It was a funny move. I didn't know what to expect."

Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury stopped Mike Comrie, Dean McAmmond and Vermette to improve to 9-5 in shootouts this season.

"We would've obviously liked to come out with a win in regulation but it happens and these are tight games, it's just the way it's been going," Crosby said. "You try to avoid going to overtime or shootouts by winning in regulation but it's pretty hard to avoid at this time of the year."

Pittsburgh was on its way to its fifth win in a row, holding a 3-2 lead with a two-man advantage with seven minutes left.

But after killing off 56 seconds of a Pittsburgh 5-on-3, the Senators got a holding the stick penalty called on Malkin.

After playing 65 seconds 4-on-4, Wade Redden scored his seventh goal of the season moments after the power play began.

Fleury did not see Redden's shot from the point until it went between his legs.

"I know whenever we get a 5-on-3, if you don't make good on it, it usually comes back to burn you," Redden said. "So that was a big kill for us not to give anything up and... it got us a goal."

Pittsburgh's Maxime Talbot scored the game's first goal 10:44 into the first period off a short-handed rush that featured precise passing by Colby Armstrong and Sergei Gonchar to feed Talbot for his 11th goal of the season.

The Senators tied the game 26 seconds later when Vermette scored his 18th on assists from Chris Kelly and Chris Neil.

Crosby had a power-play goal four minutes into the second when he corralled a pass from Ray Whitney that may have been intended for Mark Recchi, turned it over to his backhand and beat Emery for his 32nd of the season.

Ottawa tied it again. Alfredsson deflected a Joe Corvo shot from the point past Fleury. Alfredsson's 26th came 61 seconds after Crosby's goal.

Whitney gave Pittsburgh its third lead with 2:55 to play in the second. His 11th goal came partially as a result of Crosby holding onto the puck and working the far boards while on the power play.

"The power play nowadays is a big part of the game and if you're not scoring on power plays, it's real hard to win games," said Gonchar, who had two assists. "Today we scored two goals (on the power play) and it really helped us."

Crosby, who extended his league scoring lead to 12 points, has five goals and five assists in his past six games.

The Senators had a 35-19 advantage in shots and generally controlled the play when both teams skated at full strength.

"That was one of our better games in a while," Alfredsson said. "We came out really strong. We outplayed them 5-on-5 most of the game, worked hard. Getting them power plays was the only way to stay in the game, and they sure did get some."

Notes

  • Recchi has gone 13 games without a goal -- the longest stretch of his career while in a Penguins' uniform.
  • Corvo has four points in his past three games.
  • The Penguins will play their fifth game in seven days Monday night in New York against the Rangers.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Ottawa goalie Ray Emery blocks this shot from Ryan Malone, but is unable to stop the game winner.   (AP)
Ottawa goalie Ray Emery blocks this shot from Ryan Malone, but is unable to stop the game winner. (AP)
Scoreboard
Ottawa (42-23-8)11100 (0)3
Pittsburgh  (41-21-10) «12001 (1)4
Three Stars
S. Crosby
PIT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
R. Whitney
PIT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
S. Gonchar
PIT


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 2

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Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
10:44Maxime Talbot (11), Wrist Shot - Assists: Sergei Gonchar, Colby Armstrong
11:10Antoine Vermette (18), Wrist Shot - Assists: Chris Kelly, Chris Neil
2ND PERIOD
04:03Power Play - Sidney Crosby (32), Backhand Shot - Assists: Ryan Whitney, Evgeni Malkin
05:04Daniel Alfredsson (26), Tip-In - Assists: Joe Corvo, Mike Fisher
17:05Power Play - Ryan Whitney (11), Wrist Shot - Assists: Sidney Crosby, Sergei Gonchar
3RD PERIOD
15:07Power Play - Wade Redden (7), Snap Shot - Assists: Jason Spezza, Dany Heatley
OT
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
08:44Scuderi: Elbowing - 2 min.
16:29Comrie: Interference - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
03:29Volchenkov: Interference - 2 min.
09:56Melichar: Holding - 2 min.
13:44McAmmond: Hooking - 2 min.
16:47Corvo: Holding - 2 min.
17:28Roberts: Tripping - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
03:20McAmmond: Hooking - 2 min.
10:32Whitney: Interference - 2 min.
12:10Alfredsson: Interference - 2 min.
13:06Volchenkov: Hooking - 2 min.
14:02Malkin: Holding the stick - 2 min.
16:05Gonchar: Tripping - 2 min.
16:37Meszaros: Interference - 2 min.
OT
None
2OT
None
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123OTT
Ottawa1498435
Pittsburgh665219
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGASO SSO GA
Ray Emery 64:5216331
Marc-Andre Fleury 64:5632330
Game Information
Attendance - 17132
Referees - Don Koharski, Mick McGeough
Linesmen - Pat Dapuzzo, Mark Shewchyk
 
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