Found February 13, 2013 on Steel City Sports Report:
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James Neal scored two goals, Sidney Crosby added three points, and the Pittsburgh Penguins snapped a two game losing streak, defeating the Ottawa Senators 4-2 at Consol Energy Center, Wednesday night.While the Senators lost the game, the bigger issue is losing Erik Karlsson to a torn Achilles. Karlsson injured the tendon while he was checked by Matt Cooke. As the two collided into the boards, Cooke's skate inadvertently came down on the left heel of Karlsson. The defending Norris Trophy winner exited the ice without putting any weight on the injured leg.NHL.com has already reported Karlsson will require surgery and is considered out indefinitely. The loss is especially painful for an Ottawa team that has already seen significant time missed from most of their marquee players. Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek were scratched from the line up, as was defenseman, Jared Cowen.Conversely, the Penguins welcomed two starting defensemen back into their lineup; Kris Letang and Matt Niskanen. After having two days off to regroup from back to back losses against the New Jersey Devils, the Penguins came out flying against the Senators. Craig Anderson seemed to weather the storm as the Penguins placed fifteen shots on the Ottawa netminder. Meanwhile the Senators tried to get their legs after playing the night before. Zack Smith had a chance to give the Senators an early 1-0 lead with a breakaway, but was stopped by Marc-Andre Fleury in front. Smith did draw a penalty from Paul Martin who tripped Smith on his way to the net.The Penguins would kill Martin's penalty and eventually scored the first goal of the game late in the first period. Simon Despres prevented Chris Neil from clearing the puck along the boards. Chris Kunitz dropped the puck back to Sidney Crosby whose elevated pass found Pascal Dupuis in front of the net for a partial one-timer.The Senators pushed back in the second period thanks in large part to more undisciplined play by the Penguins. Paul Martin and Pascal Dupuis each took hooking penalties forty seconds apart, giving the Senators a two man advantage. The Penguins killed both penalties but Stephane Da Costa scored as Dupuis was coming out of the box. Daniel Alfredsson's shot was turned aside by Fleury, but Da Costa's turn around shot from behind the net trickled past Fleury's right pad for the goal.Just 24 seconds later, Jim O'Brien scored to give the Senators a 2-1 lead. O'Brien took a cross-ice pass from Erik Condra and shot the puck from the top of the face-off circle of Fleury's right side. The puck hit the bottom of Fleury's glove and bounced into the net for the quick score.The Penguins came back less than three minutes later on a power play goal from James Neal. Paul Martin found Sidney Crosby on the goal line to the left of Anderson. Crosby then fed Neal in the slot who blistered the puck short side over Anderson's glove hand.James Neal would add his second goal of the game and tenth of the season, scoring less than two minutes into the third period. Deryk Engelland's slapshot from the point was partially tipped by Matt Cooke, screening in front of the net. By redirecting the puck, Cooke created a huge rebound for Neal who buried the puck into a wide open net.Sidney Crosby would add a fourth goal mid-way through the final frame to give the Penguins a 4-2 cushion.With time winding down in the game, Chris Neil went after Matt Cooke, punching him four times before Cooke tumbled to the ice. Neil was looking for redemption after seeing Cooke injure one of his teammates. Both players received game misconduct penalties while Neil was given an extra roughing call.  The Penguins have now scored at least one power play goal in six straight games.Matt Cooke's assist marked the first point by a Penguins' winger playing with Evgeni Malkin and James Neal this season.Kris Letang led the team with 27:33 of ice time, coming back from injury.Three StarsJames NealSidney CrosbyPaul MartinPhoto courtesy of NHL.com
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