The Senators had blown leads in each of their three previous games, but this time scored three consecutive goals after Penguins rookie Evgeni Malkin scored his eighth goal in 10 games – but first in four – to tie it at two about six minutes into the second period.
Andrej Meszaros, Wade Redden and Peter Schaefer – all infrequent scorers – scored the next three goals as Ottawa opened a 5-2 lead by early in the third. Penguins goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury got little defensive help as the Penguins again were outshot by a large margin in their fourth straight loss.
Meszaros’ second goal of the season came on a slap shot from just inside the blue-line after a ricocheting puck bounced back to him after failing to be controlled by the Penguins around their net. Redden scored his first, and only Ottawa’s second, power-play goal in 26 attempts on a similar shot, a hard wrist shot that Fleury may not have seen while being screened. Schaefer also scored his first of the season.
Heatley, the Senators’ top goal-scorer, got his ninth on Redden’s feed when Penguins defenceman Sergei Gonchar left him alone close to the net less than four minutes into the game. Heatley added his 10th of the season in the third period with about 5 1/2 minutes remaining.
After winning seven of their first 10 games, the Penguins – the NHL’s second-youngest team – are slumping mostly because they can’t keep teams out of their zone for extended stretches. Ottawa outshot them 44-17, and opponents have a 149-81 edge in shots during Pittsburgh’s losing streak.
Ottawa goalie Martin Gerber let in three goals on Pittsburgh’s first 17 shots, but managed to secure the Senators’ first victory since they beat Toronto 7-2 Oct. 26. Ottawa’s losing streak was its longest since a seven-game slide in late February and early March 1996.
The Senators have won seven in a row against Pittsburgh since Nov. 22, 2003.
Malkin scored on a wrist shot from along the goal line that eluded Gerber after Sidney Crosby made a between-the-legs feed to Michel Ouellet, who threw the puck ahead to Malkin. Ouellet and Maxime Talbot also scored for Pittsburgh.
Notes: Gerber won for only the third time in 10 decisions (3-6-1). He had allowed 12 goals as Ottawa failed to hold leads in three consecutive games. … Despite the ongoing losing streak, Pittsburgh had gotten points in seven of its previous eight games. The Penguins lost in overtime Monday at Anaheim and Wednesday at home to Tampa Bay. … Ottawa came into the game with the NHL’s second-worst power play. … Daniel Alfredsson assisted on Redden’s goal and Heatley’s second goal.