The Ottawa Senators defeated the reeling Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in overtime on April 7 to boost their playoff hopes.
The Ottawa Senators beat the Pittsburgh Penguins, 4-3, in overtime on April 7.
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Rookie Senators forward Mark Stone scored the game-winner at the 2:43 mark in overtime to further boost his team's Stanley Cup playoff chances. He wound up with two goals for the game, per NHL.com's Chris Stevenson.
Ottawa was behind 3-2 in the third period when Mike Hoffman scored on a goal at the 18:12 mark to force the extra session. Senators head coach Dave Cameron sent goaltender Andrew Hammond to the bench for an extra attacker when Hoffman knotted the count, per Stevenson.
Pittsburgh established a 3-0 lead in the second period when Jean-Gabriel Pageau's shot bounced off Penguins defenseman Derrick Pouilot's skate and went in the net for a short-handed goal for the Senators. Stone then scored his first goal of the evening 34 seconds into the third period to trim the deficit to 3-2, Stevenson says.
Stone continues to build his case for the Calder Trophy as the NHL's Rookie of the Year. According to NHL.com, he has scored five goals in his last four games. In the process, he has upped his season total to 24.
Stone told Stevenson at the end of the game he gives credit to his team's will to win for the important victory over the Penguins:
"It's a credit to the guys in this locker room. Nobody gives up. Every night, we're finding ways to just keep battling.
"After the first period, we were down three goals, but there was still 40 minutes left, still a ton of hockey. Once [Pageau] got us on the board with a little bit of a lucky bounce, it rrally sparked us and gave us some comfortability. Once you get that early one in the third, it really tightens them up."
Hammond had 25 saves for the Senators while his counterpart, Marc-Andre Fleury, had 40, per NHL.com.
The Senators earned two points for the win and now have 95 for the 2014-15 NHL season, putting them in a tie with the Boston Bruins for fourth in the competitive Atlantic division. The Detroit Red Wings are currently third with 97 points, per NHL.com.
Sidney Crosby, Beau Bennett and Patric Hornqvist scored for Pittsburgh in a losing cause, per Stevenson.
Crosby, who scored his 28th goal of the season in the loss, told NHL.com the Penguins have to regroup for the game against the New York Islanders on April 10. Pittsburgh lost its fourth straight game to fall to 3-8-2 in its last 13 outings:
"If we would have got that fourth one, it would have been a much better situation. They got a good bounce on the short-handed one there in the second. We were probably guilty of sitting back and making a few mistakes.
"We've got to wipe this one away. We've got two games left here to earn the right to play in the playoffs. It's up to us now."
Had the Penguins won, they would have clinched a playoff spot, per The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Dave Molinari. They are now 42-26-12 on the season and are still occupying the first Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.
Molinari says Pittsburgh's "magic number for clinching a playoff berth is three points."
In contrast, the Senators had gone 18-3-3 entering Tuesday's night's showdown against Pittsburgh at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, per a separate update from Molinari.
For that, Crosby tipped his hat off to Ottawa. "They're just finding ways," he told The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "And that's what you have to do at this time of year."
Penguins defenseman Christian Ehrhoff missed his seventh straight game due to what is believed to be a concussion. Fellow defenseman Kris Letang has missed five straight of his own due to a cofirmed concussion while right winger Steve Downie sat out for the second game in a row "due to an unspecified injury," per Molinari.
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