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Senators win, but Crosby extends points streak

Dec 27, 2010 - 5:40 AM Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) -- Brian Elliott made a career-high 44 saves to help Ottawa record a 3-1 victory over Pittsburgh, but wasn't able to stop the bounce that extended Sidney Crosby's points streak to 24 games.

Elliott was in line to record a shutout, but with 3:22 left, Crosby scored after the puck bounced off the pants of Senators defenseman Matt Carkner. Crosby has posted 24 goals and 22 assists during his run, the NHL's longest since Mats Sundin's 30-game point streak during the 1992-93 season with Quebec.

Still, Elliott was stellar in net -- he made 22 saves in the second period alone, held steady after Crosby's goal and helped Ottawa win for the second consecutive game. Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson scored twice and added an assist, while Mike Fisher also lit the lamp.

Senators head coach Cory Clouston said after the game he was pleased with the play of his second-year defenseman and his goaltender, who got the win in Thursday's 2-1 victory over Nashville.

"Real good play by both of them," Clouston said. "Obviously Erik is getting a lot more confident as his experience is growing, and Brian, he played very good for us last game, and he was able to build on that for tonight."

Senators forward Jason Spezza assisted on two goals but left the game with an upper-body injury, according to Clouston, who added that the team will know more about the injury Monday morning.

Marc-Andre Fleury allowed all three goals on 24 shots for the Penguins, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.

Ottawa took control thanks to Karlsson's shooting. A little more than nine minutes into the game and with the Senators on the power play, Karlsson ripped a low shot from the right circle. Penguins defenseman Paul Martin appeared to deflect the puck in the air, and it hit Fisher before getting past Fleury.

Elliott was off the ice for Ottawa's second goal, a Karlsson blast from the center point that hit the goal frame before going in at 13:42.

Ottawa started the second period on the power play and made it a 3-0 game only 20 seconds in, when Karlsson unleashed a shot from the point.

The Senators had a good chance to take a four-goal lead at the 9:30 mark of the third period, when Nick Foligno was awarded a penalty shot following a goal review. He appeared to score despite being hooked by Pittsburgh's Brooks Orpik, but the puck was kept from crossing the goal line entirely, by a matter of millimeters. After officials ruled that it was not a goal, Foligno took his attempt, but Fleury made a glove save.

Crosby's streak was in danger down the stretch, though not for his lack of trying. With the teams skating in a 4-on-4 situation with about five minutes left, he got a clear look at the net, but his shot bounced off the right post.

Moments later, Crosby scooped up the puck in the right circle and threw a backhander at Elliott. It bounced away from the net before hitting Carkner and sneaking across the goal line near the left post.

Karlsson had a chance at hat trick with the Penguins' goal empty in the closing moments, but couldn't cash in.

"It's pretty clear, we had a terrible start," Crosby said. "In the second and third we had some pretty good chances, but we dug ourselves a deep hole."

Game Notes

Karlsson recorded his second career two-goal game...The Penguins went 0-for-4 on the power play...Pittsburgh had won the two previous matchups this season.