Stone, Duchene each score twice, Senators beat Penguins 6-4
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The Ottawa Senators played with heavy hearts after the death of longtime equipment assistant Mike Foley to colon cancer.
Hours before the puck dropped Saturday night, the Senators learned of Foley’s death.
“He was a great soldier for us for 20 odd years,” said Mark Stone, who scored twice in Ottawa’s 6-4 victory over Pittsburgh.
Former Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray died from colon cancer in August 2017 at 74, and goalie Craig Anderson played the 2016-17 season while supporting his wife, Nicholle, in her successful fight against a rare form of throat cancer.
Matt Duchene, who had a three-point night with two goals and an assist, spoke of the team’s desire to honor Foley with a win and coming out with a solid effort against a team of Pittsburgh’s pedigree.
“That’s a good team that can score goals and they threw what they had at us in the third,” Duchene said. “We earned it through the first two and obviously kept going so it was a big win. We lost one of our own. We’re all kind of hurting in here and thinking about his family so it was good to get a win for him.”
Kris Letang, Zach Aston-Reese, Matt Cullen and Patric Hornqvist scored for Pittsburgh. Matt Murray allowed three goals on 10 shots in the first period, and Casey DeSmith gave up three goals on 15 shots in relief.
“We can’t be sorry for ourselves,” Letang said. “We have all the skill in the world, but right now it’s not working, so maybe put the puck at the net and make it look a little bit nasty out there.”
After struggling through the first two periods and finding themselves down four goals, the Penguins rallied early in the third when Aston-Reese put in his first of the season and Cullen followed to make it 5-3.
But Drake Batherson fed Duchene for a breakaway to make it 6-3. With just under four minutes remaining, the Penguins pulled DeSmith and were able to take advantage when Hornqvist tipped a shot past Anderson.
NOTES: Ottawa’s Max McCormick and Christian Jaros were healthy scratches. … Derick Brassard returned to the Penguins’ lineup after missing nine games with a lower-body injury. Brassard returned to Ottawa for the first time since being acquired by Pittsburgh on Feb. 23.
Penguins: Host Buffalo on Monday night.
Senators: Host Florida on Monday night.