NHL Senators deal Penguins 6-5 setback
Pittsburgh lost its fifth straight game despite tying a season high for goals.
OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators are moving into position to defend their Eastern Conference title.
Martin Havlat and Peter Schaefer each scored two goals and Marian Hossa had three assists in Ottawa's 6-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins Thursday night.
Daniel Alfredsson and Josh Langfeld also scored to help the Senators move within a point of Toronto for the conference lead. Ottawa, which finished first overall last season, improved to 13-2-4 in its last 19 games.
"There are a lot of positives right now, but we have to keep winning," Alfredsson said. "Philadelphia is getting back on track and Toronto keeps winning even though they have a lot of guys out. They're pushing us and we're pushing them so it should be a great race."
Fifth loss in row
Milan Kraft, Drake Berehowsky, Tom Kostopoulos, Brian Holzinger and Dick Tarnstrom scored for Pittsburgh, which lost its fifth in a row despite tying a season high for goals.
"They worked hard and they battled back, so they deserve a lot of credit," Schaefer said.
Kostopoulos hit the left post with a shot in the final seconds after Tarnstrom's power-play goal drew the Penguins within one with 2:22 remaining.
"I never thought it was close, but then you hear it -- it was a pretty good cling," Alfredsson said. "It was a good relief because I thought we definitely were the better team out there and we deserved to win."
Penguins in slump
Pittsburgh, which has allowed a league-high 178 goals and is last in the NHL with 30 points, has just three wins in its last 19 games (3-14-1-1).
"It's really frustrating," Kostopoulos said. "They're one of the best teams in the league and I thought our team played well. We didn't give up at all. Down by three going into the third, we got two big goals and then almost got a third."
The Penguins, who won and tied their two previous games against Ottawa this season, were 3-for-6 with the man advantage.
"We battled hard and what you saw tonight is the way we play," Penguins coach Ed Olczyk said. "We put our necks on the line and we play with a lot of moxie. People don't respect us too much -- I'm not saying the Senators, I'm just saying the public and the media in general. I mean, we've played these guys pretty tough in three games."
Ottawa, which went 2-for-10 on the power play, scored on six of 23 shots against rookie Marc-Andre Fleury, who was replaced by Jean-Sebastien Aubin for the third period. Fleury was making his second start since returning from a stint with the Canadian national junior team.