Alfredsson's goal lifts Senators over PenguinsFeb 24, 2008 - 12:17 AM
PITTSBURGH (Ticker) -- The Ottawa Senators cooled off Evgeni Malkin and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Captain Daniel Alfredsson scored with four seconds remaining in overtime as the Senators rallied from a three-goal deficit to stun the Penguins, 4-3, on Saturday.
Alfredsson regained control of the puck after briefly losing it in front of the net and snapped a backhander inside the near goalpost, completing Ottawa's impressive rally.
"It was kind of a broken play," Alfredsson said. "I was just trying to get the puck up a little. It was a character game. We came together."
The comeback win kept the Senators atop the Eastern Conference with 78 points - one more than the New Jersey Devils.
Alfredsson's goal came after Ryan Malone hit the right post for the Penguins with 59 seconds remaining in overtime.
Although Pittsburgh jumped out to a 3-0 lead, Malkin was held pointless, ending a 10-game streak in which he had registered 24 points. Malkin, who began the day as the league leader with 82 points, did register a team-high seven shots.
"He's been playing well for a while now," Senators goalie Ray Emery said of the second-year Russian star. "He was definitely the guy we talked about most before the game.
"We just wanted to win the game, but a big part of that was focusing on him. He caused some problems, but we were able to keep him off the scoresheet."
The loss snapped the Penguins' three-game winning streak and kept them one point behind the first-place New Jersey Devils in the Atlantic Division.
With the Senators sleepwalking through the first half of the contest, the Penguins appeared to be in control after taking a three-goal lead following a two-man break.
Emery stopped Jordan Staal's breakaway bid, but Jeff Taffe was left alone in front and flipped the rebound over the fallen goaltender with 9:40 left in the middle session.
"How often do you come back from being down 3-0, especially with the help of no penalties?" Senators coach John Paddock asked. "This is something to build on."
Pittsburgh had six power plays, scoring once, compared to just one for Ottawa.
The Senators were getting badly outplayed and appeared on the way to being routed. But they answered 2:27 later after getting some momentum off a gaffe by Penguins netminder Ty Conklin.
Standing behind his own net, Conklin tried to shoot the puck out of the zone. But a charging Antoine Vermette gloved the puck and took it to the front of the net.
Chris Kelly got off a shot and Cory Stillman pounced on the rebound, flipping it past Conklin for his 23rd goal of the season and second in as many games.
"They scored that third one and it was kind of like, 'Here we go,'" Alfredsson said. "But we were able to battle and get two points."
Dany Heatley tallied twice in an 11-minute span to draw the Senators even. He pulled Ottawa within a goal with 4:46 left in the second, then tied it 6:09 into the third.
The Senators won for only the fourth time in their last 11 contests (4-5-2).
"We're not clicking in a lot of areas, but I thought today was a good sign," Heatley said. "They outplayed us, but we battled back and were able to get a huge win."
Petr Sykora and Colby Armstrong also scored for Pittsburgh, which managed only a 1-0 lead after the first period despite a 17-8 advantage in shots. The Penguins converted only one of their four power-play opportunities in the session.
Emery kept the Senators in the game with 32 saves, including four in the extra period. Pittsburgh had a 3-on-2 and a 2-on-1 in overtime.
"You could say the results were not there," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said. "But I am pleased with the way we played tonight. We dictated the game. We played a good checking game.
"We deserved to win. These are the types of games that you deserve to win, but sometimes it's not going to happen. I am pleased and proud of the team effort. Ninety-five percent of the time, you will win those types of games."
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