NHL Senators' Martin Havlat rubs salt into the Penguins' wounds
His late-game antics in Ottawa's 6-3 win infuriated Pittsburgh's players.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Put Martin Havlat just after Vincent Lecavalier on the list of NHL standouts the Pittsburgh Penguins intend to pay back when they get good again.
They've got to hope both players are still in the league when that day arrives.
Havlat infuriated the Penguins with what they felt was a show-them-up goal at the end of Ottawa's 6-3 victory Sunday, camping at the blue line before scoring into an empty-net goal to complete his fourth career three-goal game.
The Penguins' Ryan Malone responded with a hard hit on Havlat, and coach Eddie Olczyk screamed at the Senators' bench. He did the same thing when he felt Lecavalier showboated after scoring late in Tampa Bay's 9-0 victory over Pittsburgh on Nov. 8.
"Everybody knows we're losing games," defenseman Brooks Orpik said. "If that's the way he wants to get a hat trick, good for him. He can think anything he wants to think. The way he went about it, that was his choice, but it will catch up to him sooner or later."
Right now, it figures to be later for the Penguins. But how much later?
Most in league history
No doubt this loss made more impact than most of the Penguins' league-high 42 losses because it was their 18th in a row -- the most in league history, even if it's not a record.
Their 0-17-0-1 streak won't make the record book because of an overtime loss Feb. 14 in St. Louis; the record 17-game losing streaks by the Capitals (1975) and Sharks (1993) included only regulation losses.
That might be the only good thing to come out of a winless streak that matches the longest in franchise history. The Penguins had a tie and 17 losses during an 18-game winless streak from Jan. 2-Feb. 10, 1983.
As usual, one of the NHL's youngest teams couldn't be coaxed into talking much about their ongoing streaks, including their league-record 14-game home losing streak.
"We try to think positive every game," goalie Jean-Sebastien Aubin said. "Even when we're losing so many games in a row, we always try to find something positive."
This time, it was rallying from 2-0 and 3-1 deficits to tie it on second-period goals by Milan Kraft and Malone. But, less than a minute after Malone tied it at 3, Chris Neil put Ottawa ahead by jamming a loose puck past Aubin. Havlat scored twice in the third period.
Afterward, Havlat insisted he was more concerned with getting the two points for the victory than a 24th goal for himself by scoring into the empty net. Ottawa, with 81 points, moved past Detroit, Philadelphia and Toronto into first place in the overall standings.
"We had a quick lead, 2-0, but we had problems with concentration the whole game," Havlat said. "The last time we played them [Jan. 22], we were up 6-3 but they came back and had a pretty good chance to tie in the last seconds. We did a much better job at the end this time."