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Jarko Ruutu scores winner in Pens' 6-5 shootout win over Sens

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

OTTAWA - Jarko Ruutu scored the deciding goal in shootout Thursday night to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a come-from-behind 6-5 victory over the Ottawa Senators.

The Penguins (9-11-2) twice rallied from two goals down to send the Senators (16-4-1) to their second loss in as many nights before a crowd of 20,061 at sold-out Scotiabank Place.

Ruutu decided things after Jason Spezza and Erik Christensen exchanged goals on the first chances in shootout, but Ottawa's next four shooters couldn't score and three shooters were unsuccessful for Pittsburgh.

Ryan Malone had two goals and an assist in regulation time for the Penguins, who rebounded from a 2-1 loss at New Jersey a night earlier.

Sergei Gonchar added a goal and an assist and Evgeni Malkin and Tyler Kennedy also scored.

Colby Armstrong had two assists.

Malkin, appearing in his 100th career game, extended his point streak to 15 games, currently the longest active streak in the league.

Spezza scored twice and added an assist for Ottawa, which lost 4-2 the previous night at Buffalo.

Dany Heatley, on the power play, and Chris Phillips and Christoph Schubert also scored for the Senators. Daniel Alfredsson recorded three assists.

Penguins starting goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury was pulled after allowing two goals on four shots. His replacement, Dany Sabourin, made 29 stops the rest of the way.

Martin Gerber finished with 20 saves at the other end for Ottawa.

It was the first time the teams met since the Senators eliminated the Penguins in five games in the opening round of the playoffs in the spring.

Pittsburgh fell behind early with Fleury surrendering Spezza's opening goal less than five minutes in after he allowed a weak point shot to trickle between his pads.

When Phillips scored on the power play at the midway point of the first period, Fleury headed for the bench and Sabourin took over and the change did the Penguins good.

Centre Alexander Nikulin, called up from AHL Binghamton earlier in the day because Randy Robitaille is out with a bruised left hand, was playing his first NHL game for the Senators.

He was stripped of the puck by fellow Russian Malkin at centre ice and Malkin scored on the ensuing breakaway to hand the Penguins a lifeline.

Malkin has seven goals and 15 assists during his streak.

Crosby had his league-high 19-game point streak stopped by the Devils in Wednesday's night's loss, but started a new one when he fed Malone to tie the game at 2-2 just 18 seconds later.

The Penguins went in front eight minutes into the second when Kennedy scored after a Senators turnover in their own zone, but Spezza's second of the game at the 14:40 mark evened things.

Less than two minutes later, Heatley struck on the power play and Ottawa was up 4-3.

Schubert redirected a point shot by Andrej Meszaros past Sabourin 64 seconds into the third period, but the Penguins rallied again.

Malone scored his second of the game on the power play at the 5:56 mark and, little more than a minute later, Gonchar snapped Armstrong's pass through Gerber's pads to tie it at 5-5 and force extra time.

Notes: Senators defenceman Joe Corvo appeared in his 300th career game. a Ottawa plays host to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday in the first meeting of the teams since Flyers prospect Steve Downie received a 20-game suspension for his hit on Senators centre Dean McAmmond in the pre-season, but Downie is in the AHL and won't play. a Ruutu surpassed the 600-penalty minute mark for his career Thursday. a The Penguins are home to Atlanta on Saturday.


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