Senators roll past Penguins 5-0

Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators had one of their most

impressive wins of the season.

Anderson stopped 27 shots for his second shutout of the season

and Ottawa defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-0 on Monday.

”We definitely had one of our better games this year and we

played our most consistent game, playing hard-nosed and in their

face,” Anderson said.

”We know they have a good team and they bring it every night

and they do things right 99 percent of the time so we found a way

to win the game and do it with conviction.”

Senators coach Paul MacLean was pleased with the timing of the

victory.

”It’s the best way we possibly could (head into the break),”

MacLean said. ”If we were looking for something under the tree

that could be a motivator for us and a feel-good thing for us,

beating Pittsburgh 5-0 we can head into this three-day break with a

positive attitude.”

The game was relatively close after two periods, but the

Senators dominated the Penguins in the third, outshooting them 15-9

while getting goals from Erik Karlsson, Kyle Turris and Cory

Conacher.

Zack Smith and Bobby Ryan also scored for the Senators and

Anderson earned the 24th shutout of his career.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 24 saves for the Penguins, but had his

five-game winning streak come to an end.

The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Senators with

all three of those losses coming in Ottawa.

”I thought our response to the game tonight was workman like

and our penalty killers did yeomen work and the difference in the

game was that we obviously killed off those power plays,” said

MacLean after his team survived all seven short-handed situations,

while scoring once in three power-play opportunities.

The Penguins had won 12 of their past 13 games in Ottawa,

including seven in a row. Pittsburgh had only been shut out once

this season as it fell 1-0 at home to the Colorado Avalanche on

Oct. 21.

The shutout was the first for the Senators since they blanked

the Buffalo Sabres 1-0 in their first game of the season.

Defenseman Marc Methot set an early tone that it was going to be

a physical night.

With the Penguins breaking toward the Ottawa goal, Methot took

Sidney Crosby out with a hard hip check. Crosby wasn’t hurt on the

play but his spinning body was catapulted into Pascal Dupuis who

went down and hit hard into the end boards.

Dupuis left the game with what was later described as a lower

body injury and did not return. Crosby was mostly ineffective the

rest of the game.

”I haven’t seen the replay. I don’t know how low it was. He

almost blew my knee out so it was pretty low,” Crosby said.

”I don’t know if it was right above my knee or above my hip,

but it was awfully close.”

Methot disagreed.

”I have a ton of respect for that player,” Methot said. ”I

think he’s one of the best players in the world and you have to

play him hard and that was our goal.”

The two players had a lengthy discussion before play resumed

while Dupuis was attended to behind the net.

”He wasn’t happy about it and I wouldn’t be happy either so I

don’t blame him for coming at me a bit,” Methot said. ”I thought

it was a clean hit. I’ve been throwing hip checks my whole career

and I’m 6-foot-3 and I don’t think I can get much lower than his

knees.”

Smith opened the scoring at 6:54 of the first period when he put

a backhand in a very small opening between Fleury’s left skate and

the post after the Penguins goalie made a pad save on Cody

Ceci.

Anderson held Pittsburgh at bay and stopped two Penguins on

breakaways in the second period, including one short-handed by

Brandon Sutter. The other was a glove save off James Neal.

In between those breakaways, Ryan scored his first goal in four

games when he directed a point shot from Chris Phillips past Fleury

at 5:46. It came on the same power play that the Senators

surrendered on Sutter’s breakaway.

”A big part of the game was when they get the power-play goal

to go up 2-0 and we have several chances on the power play,”

Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.

”We had several good opportunities to score, but we don’t cash

in and certainly the game turns on that stretch where we had three

power plays in the second and we don’t get a goal.”

The Penguins head into the break leading the Eastern Conference

while the Senators are in 10th place four points out of a playoff

spot.

Notes: Patrick Wiercioch, Joe Corvo and Mika Zibanejad were

scratches for the Senators on Monday and for the Penguins, Deryk

Engelland, Brian Gibbons and Evgeni Malkin were scratches. …

Ottawa is 7-1-3 this season when leading a game after two periods.

… Senators defenseman Chris Phillips snapped a 10-game pointless

streak with a second-period assist. … Sidney Crosby at least one

point in 31 of Pittsburgh’s 39 games this season. … Marc-Andre

Fleury has played 499 career games, all with the Penguins. …

Penguins forward Chris Cooner turned 30 on Monday.