Heatley, Spezza score as Ottawa remains hot, beats Penguins 4-1

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PITTSBURGH (AP)—Sidney Crosby kept shooting and shooting, and nothing would go in. No such problem for Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza, who are finding the net these days with nearly every puck they touch.

Heatley scored two goals for the second night in a row and Spezza also scored twice as the Ottawa Senators wrapped up a productive road trip, winning their fourth in a row by beating the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 Thursday night.

Spezza, coming off a three-point night in a 6-0 win at Carolina on Wednesday, scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period on a power play as the Senators rallied from a 1-0 deficit to close out a 4-0-1 road trip. Their four consecutive wins followed a seven-game losing streak.

Senators goalie Martin Gerber, who stopped all 31 shots he faced after replacing an injured Ray Emery against Carolina, turned aside 26 of 27 shots.

Crosby had a career-high nine shots, three on breakaways, but couldn’t score.

The Senators’ reaction? Whew.

“Breakaways, you want to score,” Crosby said. “A good goal scorer finds ways to score on breakaways. For me, it was just a long night. He (Gerber) played well but breakaways, I like my chances.”

Crosby doesn’t have a goal in seven games this month, though he does have seven assists.

“I know we gave him a lot of chances to score,” Ottawa coach John Paddock said. “He’s not going to be denied very often with that many shots on goal.”

As usual, it was Spezza and Heatley who did the damage against the Penguins, who dropped their second in three nights after winning seven of eight. Spezza also scored into an empty net in the final minute and added two assists, giving him seven points in two nights.

He has four of his eight goals this season in two games against Pittsburgh.

“We weren’t very good in the first, we didn’t seem to have our legs under us and Marty made some big saves on some good chances early on,” Spezza said. “After that, we kind of took over the game.”

Heatley also loves playing against the Penguins—he has 13 goals in 19 career games against them, plus seven assists.

Heatley made it 3-1 with about 8 minutes remaining by shoving the puck across the goal line after Joseph Corvo’s shot struck a post and deflected off goalie Dany Sabourin’s back. Heatley and Spezza both whacked at the puck, but Heatley was given the goal.

The Penguins, coming off a long road trip that began with three victories in western Canada but ended with an 8-2 loss in Philadelphia on Tuesday night, got a scare when Crosby hobbled to the bench after a ricochet caught him on the left foot during the second period.

Crosby, who broke that foot late last season, was in considerable pain, but returned later in the period and drew a high-sticking penalty that carried over to the third period.

Crosby came out of the box and got loose on a breakaway, only to be denied again. Crosby banged his stick on the boards behind the net, frustrated yet again on a night he played very well but had nothing to show for it.

“When you get that many opportunities, it would be nice to find a way to get one,” he said.

Crosby second-guessed himself afterward, saying he switched to shooting the puck low on several rushes when he should have kept trying to beat Gerber high.

“He was good, but we played hard to the rebounds and tried to take as much time away from him as possible,” Gerber said. “That makes my job easier.”

Tyler Kennedy, a rookie who has unexpectedly given the Penguins a scoring lift with five goals after spending most of the first month of the season in the minors, made it 1-0 by scoring off Evgeni Malkin’s rebound in the second period.

Less than 2 minutes later, Heatley tied it with a one-timer from the right circle off Andrej Meszaros’ cross-ice pass.

Ottawa played in Pittsburgh for the first time since April 17, when it won to take a 3-1 lead in a first-round playoff series. Ottawa won the series in Game 5 at home.

Notes

Heatley has 18 goals. … Ottawa had dropped its past four regular-season games to Pittsburgh. … Sabourin made 22 saves in his 21st career start. He is expected to be Pittsburgh’s starter for the next two months as Marc-Andre Fleury heals from a badly sprained ankle.

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Three Stars

  Three Stars
M. Gerber
M. Gerber
Senators - G
Saves: 26
Save Pct.: .963
J. Spezza
J. Spezza
Senators - C
Goals: 2
Assists: 2
D. Heatley
D. Heatley
Senators - LW
Goals: 2
Assists: 0

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Dany Sabourin Was 25 22

Scoreboard

Thursday, Dec 13