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Senators, Condon top Penguins in shootout

Kyle Turris scored the lone shootout goal and the Ottawa Senators topped the Pittsburgh Penguins 2-1 on Thursday night in Ottawa.

The Penguins came into Thursday’s game looking to keep pace with the Washington Capitals and Columbus Blue Jackets for first place in the heated Metropolitan Division. The Pens, winners of their last three and eight of 10, wanted to keep the momentum going when they traveled to Ottawa to face the Senators.

The game was a back-and-forth, physical battle that needed more than 65 minutes to determine the outcome.

The contest started out physical as both teams got into scraps and finished all their checks. The Senators defense, known for taking the body, and the Pens matched their play early on.

Pittsburgh goaltender Matt Murray was tested early in the game with some quality chances for Ottawa. About 7 minutes into the first, the Senators got a great chance on Murray. The Pittsburgh netminder went down anticipating a shot, but the Sens held on to it and tried to shoot it top-shelf; only to be robbed by Murray’s glove.

After a back-and-forth first period, the Penguins started out the 2nd with a quick opportunity from Sidney Crosby that hit the post behind Mike Condon. With the Pens on the penalty kill, Nick Bonino’s short-handed chance was saved by Condon.

Pittsburgh finally struck first after Dion Phaneuf was sent to the box for a double minor high stick. During the power play, Bonino didn’t miss his chance this time when he fired a shot over Condon’s shoulder to make it 1-0 Pittsburgh. During the second power play of the double minor, Murray shut down an opportunity by Zach Smith to keep the Pens’ lead.

The third period started with each team getting multiple chances. Both Murray and Condon were stellar, making incredible saves each time they were faced with the task. Condon was the reason the Senators were still in the game and only down by 1 goal midway through the 3rd.

With about 10 minutes to go in the game, Erik Carlson drew a hooking call on Matt Cullen to give Ottawa a power play. Less than 20 seconds into the advantage, Mike Hoffman tied the game at 1-1 after he scored from the top of the key. The goal looked similar to the one that Bonino scored earlier.

Condon stood on his head for the rest of the 3rd period, taking away all the Penguins’ opportunities. His momentum carried into overtime and then the shootout, where the Penguins couldn’t get the puck past him. After goals scored by Kyle Turris and Bobby Ryan, the Senators ended with a shootout win.

Matt Murray finished the game with 29 saves and a .966 save percentage, but couldn’t make a stop in the shootout. The loss takes the Penguins to 46-17-10 on the year, two points behind the Capitals.

The Penguins look to rebound when they take on the New York Islanders on Friday at home.

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