Neal gets shootout winner as Penguins top Senators
OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators and Pittsburgh Penguins were fairly evenly matched on Sunday - except for James Neal.
Neal scored in regulation and in the shootout as the Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators 2-1.
``It was a little sloppy at times, but you’ve got to win them like that,’’ said Neal. ``It’s going to be like that at times this year.’’
Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, with the winner, also scored in the shootout for Pittsburgh (4-2-0), which snapped a two-game skid. Marc-Andre Fleury made 31 saves for the win.
``We obviously didn’t want to keep sliding,’’ said Crosby. ``Every game is so important. It wasn’t a pretty one but it was good we were able to find a way.’’
Colin Greening scored a second-period goal for the Senators (3-2-1), while Jason Spezza and Kyle Turris collected shootout goals after Fleury stopped Milan Michalek with the first attempt.
Craig Anderson turned aside 33 of 34 shots and has allowed just three regulation goals through four games so far this season. The Senators had a golden opportunity to win in regulation when Erik Karlsson’s slap shot from the slot sailed just wide of Fleury with less than 40 seconds to play.
``The puck was bouncing a bit and I couldn’t really settle it,’’ Karlsson said.
Jakob Silfverberg had a chance in overtime for the Senators, but after stealing the puck at his own blue-line from Chris Kunitz, he was tracked down on a breakaway by Ben Lovejoy before getting a shot off.
``The pace picked up at the end and both teams really tried to win the game,” said Karlsson. ‘’That’s what hockey is about _ no team played to lose and both teams were going for it and trying to create chances. It was a tricky game.``