Senators hand Penguins their latest loss
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OTTAWA, Ontario -- Ottawa defeated the Penguins, 6-4, at Scotiabank Place tonight.
It was the Penguins' fourth loss in the past five games and dropped their record to 17-11-4.
Penguins defenseman Paul Martin left the game in the third period with an apparent leg injury after taking a hit from Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips. There was no immediate word on the nature or severity of his problem.
The Penguins played without center Jordan Staal for the second time in three games because of an unspecified injury and defenseman Zbynek Michalek, who missed his eighth in a row because of a concussion.
They also had their usual absentee list headlined by center Sidney Crosby and defenseman Kris Letang, both of whom have either a concussion or symptoms associated with one.
Ottawa was not at full strength, either. Winger Milan Michalek, who began the evening tied for the NHL lead in goals with 19, missed his second game in a row and defensemen Sergei Gonchar was held out of his fourth consecutive game because of an unspecified injury.
After a scoreless first period, the teams combined for three goals in little more than two minutes at the start of the second.
Colin Greening gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead 25 seconds after intermission when he drove to the net and steered a Jason Spezza pass behind Penguins goalie Brent Johnson.
Just 71 seconds later, Steve Sullivan pulled the Penguins even, as he got a pass from Arron Asham and beat Senators goalie Alex Auld from the inner edge of the right circle for his sixth. Joe Vitale received the second assist.
The Penguins had barely finished celebrating Sullivan's goal, however, when Spezza put the Senators back in front, 2-1, by driving a shot past Johnson from the slot at 2:04.
Daniel Alfredsson padded the Senators' lead at 6:45 by beating Johnson from inside the right circle after teammate Zenon Konopka set up directly in front of Johnson.
The Penguins, though, regained their equilibrium in the middle of the period, as Matt Niskanen scored on a slap shot from the left point at 11:07, just seven seconds after Chris Neil of Ottawa was penalized for hooking. Sullivan and Chris Kunitz got assists on the goal, Niskanen's second.
The Penguins pulled even on another quick-strike power-play goal at 12:14, eight seconds after Alfredsson was sent off for high-sticking.
Malkin snapped a wrist shot past Auld on the short side from the top of the left circle for his 12th. Sullivan and Kunitz got the assists.
Just 66 seconds later, however, Ottawa defenseman Jared Cowen threw the puck toward the net from the left side. It hit the skate of Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik and caromed past Johnson to put the Senators on top for good.
Ottawa received its third power play of the game when Penguins defenseman Alexandre Picard was called for high-sticking at 19:50, and got an insurance goal on a deflection by Konopka with 5.7 seconds to go in the period.
That goal convinced Penguins coach Dan Bylsma to replace Johnson, who allowed five goals on 19 shots, with Marc-Andre Fleury for the start of the third period.
Spezza broke down the slot and beat Fleury at 12:23 of the third to put the game out of reach, although Kunitz got that back by tipping in a Simon Despres shot at 18:58 for his 10th.
The Penguins will play Buffalo Saturday night at 7:08 at Consol Energy Center.