NHL: Penguins defeat Senators in thrilling finish

Friday, April 6, 2007

Pittsburgh Penguins 3 2 Ottawa Senators

The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Ottawa Senators in the closing seconds of Thursday night's game, pulling the Penguins into a tie with the Senators for points, with 103 each. With New Jersey clinching the Atlantic Division title after defeating Philadelphia, Pittsburgh locks into a first round matchup with Ottawa in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, though who will claim home ice advantage is still unknown. Pittsburgh can still claim home ice advantage if Ottawa loses their season finale Saturday in Boston.

Jason Spezza struck first in the game, scoring a power play goal at 7:59. Ray Emery would hold the Penguins scoreless until 14:05 in the first, when Michel Ouellet scored a power play goal to even the score at 1-1. Gary Roberts gave the Penguins the lead 55 seconds later, scoring the third power play goal of the game, and Roberts' 19th of the season to give the Pens the edge, 2-1 heading into the second period. Dany Heatley would make it four power play goals in the game, when he scored his NHL best 49th goal of the season, assisted by Jason Spezza and Mike Comrie, to tie the game at two goals apiece. Both teams would tighten up on defense, holding each other scoreless until the final period, when Maxime Talbot would give the Penguins the 3-2 lead and the victory, with 9.8 seconds remaining in the game, stunning the 24,064 in attendance at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa.

Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win, stopping 35 of the 37 shots he faced. Ray Emery was saddled with the loss, stopping 24 of 27 shots faced.

The Senators will try to claim home ice advantage Saturday, when the Boston Bruins host Ottawa. Game time is scheduled for 7:00. Pittsburgh needs to win Saturday, as well as hope for a Bruins victory, when the Pens host the New York Rangers at Mellon Arena. Opening face off is scheduled for 7:30.

Three Stars of the Game

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