Christoph Schubert isn't going to get much in the way of rookie of the year votes.
But for one night at least, the Senators' big defenceman-turned-forward can say he outpointed Pittsburgh Penguins freshman sensation Sidney Crosby.
"For one game, that's it," said Schubert, who got the Senators out of a 1-0 hole and was one of the few bright spots in what turned out to be a 5-2 win over the cellar-dwelling Pens.
Crosby was held pointless, had three shots and was -1 on the night.
On a night Senators backup goaltender Ray Emery still looked shaky and Ottawa's top line of Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson was held pointless (while Alfredsson turned the puck over numerous times in his own zone), the Senators got solid games from their depth guys in front of a crowd of 19,877 at Scotiabank Place.
In addition to strong play from the line of Schubert, callup Steve Martins (in for Mike Fisher, who was out with the flu) and Antoine Vermette, the Senators got a three-point performance by Peter Schaefer (two goals and an assist) and two-point effort from Bryan Smolinski as they capitalized on some dumb penalties by the Penguins in the second.
"You want your best players to be good every night, but they didn't have it going," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "Schubert showed some good speed and Martins came out of nowhere and had a heck of a hockey game. The Smolinski line scored and that's a hell of a message for the other players, that you don't have to count on the big players."
Schubert's hustle led to the Senators' first goal, tying the game after Emery muffed the first shot, leading to a goal by Pittsburgh's Ryan Malone just 74 seconds into the game.
Schubert's goal, which followed his charge through the neutral zone, gave the Senators something to show for the first period as they fell behind against the Penguins for the second game in a row.
"Most of the time, I'm not 100% sure what I'm doing," said Schubert of adjusting to playing forward. "I just try to be the high guy (in the opposition zone) and help the 'D' as much as possible."
Schubert also handed out a big hit on Pittsburgh's Sergei Gonchar which led to the Penguins' Eric Cairns taking a retaliation penalty, leading to Smolinski's goal. Schaefer followed up a roughing penalty to former Senator Andre Roy with his first 66 seconds later to make it 4-1.
Emery, coming off a trio of shaky performances (0-3, 17 goals on 62 shots), still didn't look sharp in the Senators' net, but got some offensive support from his teammates, something that didn't happen his last time out (5-0 loss to the Boston Bruins eight days ago).
The way things are going for the Senators and Emery, they can't afford to look down their noses at any victories these days. They are 2-2-1 in their last five games, with both wins coming over the lowly Penguins, last in the Eastern Conference.
By our rough count five of the Penguins first seven shots found their way by Emery. One found the net, two hit the post and the others were swept away before more trouble ensued.
"We won tonight, but I think I made more mistakes than in some of the past games," said Emery, who made 22 saves. "I felt a bit better and felt more comfortable seeing game-type plays. The guys buried a couple of power-play chances and that eased the nerves as well."
The Senators face the New York Rangers tomorrow night in The Big Apple.