Game file: Penguins at Senators on the Ides of March, 2011

It would be easy to blame the so-called “letdown” game that supposedly follows most road trips, but this was just a matter of one team working a lot harder than the other.

Game file: Penguins at Senators on the Ides of March, 2011
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

WHY THE SENATORS LOST

It would be easy to blame the so-called “letdown” game that supposedly follows most road trips, but this was just a matter of one team working a lot harder than the other. The Penguins showed up ready for battle, outshooting the Senators 41-22 and outscoring them 5-1. The pendulum might be swinging back after a nice run for Craig Anderson and the Ottawa Senators.

STUD

Chris Kunitz, Penguins

After putting up two goals to pace the Penguins to a 5-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers Sunday, Kunitz returned to the scoresheet in a big way. He helped set up three of Pittsburgh’s four goals to lead all point-getters and created a few more chances after that. He had company in this category — five Penguins registered multi-point games.

DUD

Craig Anderson, Senators

Before everyone gets all up in arms, it should be noted that Anderson has been the stud pretty much since he arrived in the capital. It’s hard to ignore the nine goals against and one hook over the last two games, however. He finished the night with 36 saves.

GAME CHANGER

Anderson has earned the Senators plenty of points since he arrived, but his flubbed save attempt in the second period contributed to Tuesday night’s loss. Low-scoring Pittsburgh defenceman Ben Lovejoy’s shot from the circle squeezed in between Anderson’s body and arm, thus making the score 3-1 and bringing back nightmare images of Brian Elliott’s final months in the capital.

KEY STATS

- 4: Wins in five games for the Penguins.
- 8-1-1: Pittsburgh goalie Brent Johnson’s lifetime record against the Senators.
- 15-10-5: Pens’ record since losing Sidney Crosby to a concussion.
- 1: Victory for the Senators (Chris Neil’s first period bout with Deryk Engelland).

YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

Players who leave the Ottawa Senators’ organization are usually welcomed back with a video tribute at Scotiabank Place, but it was still a little weird to see one honouring Alex Kovalev. Fans here are more likely to remember his lackadaisical play and antagonistic comments toward the coaching staff than any positive contributions on the ice, and they showed it by booing L’Artiste all night long. Kovalev picked up a second assist on Pittsburgh’s fifth goal and logged 18:07 of ice time. More than five minutes of that came on the power play, where he played the point.

PUCK BUCKS

Tuesday’s game provided the backdrop for the annual Rogers House Telethon, which raised $601,274 for the pediatric palliative care facility. The ceremonial faceoff featured seven-year-old Connor McHardy, who has spent time there with cardiac disease, and Hannah Otto, who lost her sister to a brain tumor four years ago. Big hat tip to Hannah and her family, who have since raised $100,000 for Roger’s House.

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