Penguins stick it to plucky Senators

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 6:54 AM ET

PITTSBURGH -- On a night the Senators refused to quit and goalie Martin Gerber stood tall, Ottawa once again experienced playoff heartbreak.

Even after bouncing back from a 3-0 deficit with outstanding play from their much-maligned goalie, the Senators lost 5-3. After Martin Lapointe was given a penalty for high-sticking with 1:14 left, Ryan Malone scored the winner on a wraparound.

The Penguins added an empty-netter to take a 2-0 series lead with Game 3 in Ottawa Monday.

"You don't want to high-stick a guy in the face. I don't think I did, but you've got to keep it down and I cost us the game," said Lapointe.

Senators coach Bryan Murray was angry a few earlier incidents were ignored by the refs.

"Shean Donovan gets hauled down by (Kris Letang) and there's no call," Murray said. "Chris Neil gets cross-checked in front of our bench by Malone and there's no call.I'm disappointed."

Cody Bass, Cory Stillman and Shean Donovan erased a 3-0 Penguins lead. Bass scored his first playoff goal at 8:51 of the third to tie it 3-3.

The Penguins had all the chances, but Gerber was tremendous, facing 53 shots. He gave Ottawa the opportunity to get back into this series, but the Penguins' best players were at their best.

Sidney Crosby had four assists, while Evgeni Malkin had three. Ryan Malone and Petr Sykora each scored twice and Sergei Gonchar had one.

"It's great. That's a big win," said Crosby. "It was a bit of a nailbiter, but we deserved (to win)."

The Senators have trailed a series 2-0 six times in team history, and have never come back to win.

"It's tough," said Stillman. "I've been in this situationbefore. We know that we can play with them. We just have to win Game 3."

Murray moved winger Nick Foligno to Jason Spezza's left side with Lapointe on the right. In the third, Dany Heatley skated with centre Antoine Vermette and Stillman.

Anybody wondering about Gerber can stop with all the questions. He halted the Penguins twice on breakaways and was the only reason the Senators had a sniff at a victory going into the third.


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