OTTAWA -- The Penguins defeated Ottawa, 5-1, at Scotiabank Place tonight.
The victory raised the Penguins' record to 41-22-8 and keeps them within three points of first-place Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have two games in hand.
Tyler Kennedy staked the Penguins to a 1-0 lead at 9:14 of the opening period with his 16th of the season. He staked out a spot to the left of the Ottawa net and deflected a Paul Martin shot out of the air with the shaft of his stick and past Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
Jordan Staal made it 2-0 at 1:21 of the second, when he capped a scrum by sweeping a loose puck past Anderson from the front lip of the crease just two seconds after a Penguins power play expired.
The Senators got a chance with the extra man when Zbynek Michalek was penalized for tripping at 2:02, and needed just six seconds to capitalize on that opportunity, as Ryan Shannon flipped a backhander past Penguins goalie Brent Johnson at 2:08.
The Penguins countered quickly, however. Defenseman Ben Lovejoy drove a slap shot past Anderson from above the right dot at 3:05 for his second of the season.
Matt Cooke put the Penguins up by three at 7:34, when the puck went off his skate while he was being tied up by Ottawa defenseman Andre Benoit and got by Anderson. A video review determined Cooke had not used a "distinct kicking motion" to score, so the goal was allowed.
Michalek got his third goal in the past four games at 8:47 of the third to close out the scoring.
The Penguins are off until Sunday, when they will face the New York Rangers at 12:38 p.m. at Consol Energy Center.
Dave Molinari: email@example.com .