PITTSBURGH – Too quick for his own good, Marc-Andre Fleury let the winning shot slowly trickle past him.
Mike Comrie slid the deciding goal in the shootout past Fleury, and the Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 on Saturday for their fifth win in six games.
Comrie skated slowly down the right side of the slot, faked to his backhand, hesitated while pulling the puck back, and slid a forehand shot that hit Fleury’s right pad and just squeaked in off the left post.
“Squeak into the corner?” Comrie said, laughing. “I had a pretty good view. It was a pretty hard shot.
“He is a quick goaltender, so sometimes getting him to move side to side you might be able to catch him. I just tried to make a quick move, and I saw him come across pretty quick.”
The third successful shot ended the tiebreaker on the 10th attempt.
Chris Campoli, Nick Foligno and Chris Phillips scored in regulation for Ottawa, which trailed 3-1 with eight minutes left but improved to 11-6-3 under interim coach Cory Clouston.
“We didn’t quit,” Comrie said. “The third period was well-executed, and in overtime I think we outchanced them by a few chances. Anytime you get a win, especially when you’re down a couple of goals going into the third period, you realize your character.”
Eric Godard, Sidney Crosby and Tyler Kennedy scored for Pittsburgh, which has lost two straight shootouts after a seven-game winning streak. The Penguins have gone to a shootout in a franchise-record four straight games.
The Penguins surrendered what could be a valuable point in the tightly packed Eastern Conference playoff chase.
“We had a two-goal lead and got away from our game a little bit and didn’t finish them off and let them back in it,” said Crosby, who has at least one point in nine consecutive games. “We left it up to chance, and they had the better shooters today.”
Daniel Alfredsson beat Fleury on the first shootout try by swooping in from the right wing and flipping a backhander under the crossbar. Crosby sent the shootout into extra rounds by scoring between Brian Elliott’s pads.
Elliott stopped Kris Letang, Petr Sykora and Evgeni Malkin during the shootout, and Chris Kunitz’s shot sailed over the net. Elliott has won his past five decisions.
Pittsburgh, 9-1-3 under interim coach Dan Bylsma, appeared in control while leading by two goals in the third. The Penguins had been 19-3-4 when ahead after two periods.
“I think that’s been a trend for us,” Elliott said. “We haven’t come out as fast as we wanted to, but we’ve been able to hold the fort a little bit.”
Foligno made it 3-2 with eight minutes left in regulation when he flipped a wrist shot from the far side of the left circle that beat Fleury high on the stick side.
“When you’re up 3-1, you can’t let them get the momentum,” Fleury said.
Phillips tied it 1:54 later when he went to the net and slammed home the rebound of Dany Heatley shot. It was the defenceman’s sixth of the season.
“It’s pretty impressive how we can come back in the third period playing three games in a short time (four days),” Alfredsson said. “Especially against a team that is desperate like the Penguins.”
Ottawa controlled the final minutes of regulation and overtime when a power play helped the Senators build an 11-1 shot advantage.
Godard, primarily a fighter, has played sparingly since the trade deadline earlier this month. He scored his second of the season and first since Dec. 13 6:05 into the game.
Campoli tied it 2:31 later with a wrister from the point that found its way through traffic.
Crosby, who has scored all five games since he came back from a groin injury that caused him to miss four, gave the Penguins a 2-1 lead with his 27th – and sixth in seven games – at 5:56 of the second off a pretty setup by defenceman Mark Eaton.
Kennedy completed a 2-on-1 with Matt Cooke late in the second for his 12th of the season and third since Jan. 31.
“We bent but we didn’t break,” Clouston said. “I thought we played very well as the game went on.”
Notes: The Penguins haven’t beaten the Senators at home in regulation since Oct. 16, 2001. … Crosby, who has seven points in four games, hadn’t scored against Ottawa in the regular season since March 18, 2007. … Penguins C Maxime Talbot played his 250th NHL game.