Senators left seeing stars

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:57 AM ET

Another repeat performance like that from Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and the Senators’ season will be all but done.

Trying to gain the upper hand as their series against the Penguins shifted from Pittsburgh to Scotiabank Place, the Senators had no answer for Crosby and Malkin, as each star scored in a 4-2 victory Sunday.

The Senators now trail 2-1 in the series as only Mike Fisher and Matt Cullen were able to beat Marc-Andre Fleury on 24 shots.

Bill Guerin, Evgeni Malkin and Alexei Ponikarovsky also scored for Pittsburgh, which had 22 shots on Ottawa’s Brian Elliott.

Guerin put the final nail in the coffin Sunday on a breakaway in the third period.

The Senators had better find a solution to Crosby, who has seven points in three games.

With the Penguins holding a 4-1 lead, Cullen scored his first of the series on a great setup from Jason Spezza by beating Fleury at 12:58 on the power play with a blast from down low.

Kept at bay early by Ottawa, Crosby turned out to be the difference maker — again — scoring with only 45 seconds left on the clock. He made a great indivual effort beating Andy Sutton and firing it over top of a sprawling Elliott.

That gave the Penguins a 3-1 lead and it was Crosby’s second goal in three game with Ottawa frustrated. It wasn’t the only damage caused by The Kid. Alfredsson appeared to hurt his right shoulder/arm after a hit from Crosby in the second.

Alfredsson went down the hallway midway through and didn’t return until there was less than three minutes left after getting knocked to the ice by Crosby. Already without Alexei Kovalev and Milan Michalek, Ottawa can’t another big blow.

The Penguins pulled out to a 2-1 lead at 5:57 of the second just when it looked like the Senators were going to gain the momentum. Maxime Talbot beat Erik Karlsson to a loose puck and Malkin deposited it into an open net.

Up until then, the Senators looked like they were going to get the momentum back. After having a goal by Regin called back in the first, he set up Fisher at 1:53 of the second.

On the power play, Fisher threw the puck out front to Fisher, who beat Fleury on the glove side. That tied it up 1-1 after the Penguins scored on the first shot of the game by Ponikarovsky.

The Senators faithful weren’t happy after Regin had his effort called back with 40.8 seconds left in the first. Taking a pass from Spezza, it was ruled - after being reviewed in Toronto - that Regin kicked the puck through Fleury’s five-hole.

That was one of the few scoring chances in the first.

The Penguins pulled out to a 1-0 lead on the first shot of the game. The previously struggling Ponikarovsky, fired a blast from the circle that beat Elliott on the glove side. The goal certainly took away some of the enthusiasm in the building.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca


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