In their first game back from the NHL All Star break, the Ottawa Senators were defeated 5-3 by the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night at PPG Paints Arena.
Teddy Blueger opened the scoring for Pittsburgh with his first NHL goal. Jake Guentzel and Bryan Rust also scored for the Penguins, tallying two apiece. Bobby Ryan, Mikkel Boedker, and Matt Duchene replied for the Senators.
With the loss, Ottawa’s record drops to 19-27-5 and they remain with 43 points. This places them last in the NHL. Pittsburgh on the other hand, improves their record to 28-17-6 and 62 points, which ranks them second in the Metropolitan Division and eighth in the league.
Earlier in the day, the Penguins and the Florida Panthers completed a sizeable trade. Pittsburgh acquired Nick Bjugstad and Jared McCann for former Senator Derick Brassard, Riley Sheahan, Pittsburgh’s 2019 second round pick, and two 2019 fourth round picks, one from Pittsburgh and the other formerly belonging to the Minnesota Wild. All four players involved in this trade were former first round selections. Brassard rejoins his former ex-Senator teammates Mike Hoffman and Chris Wideman in the Sunshine state.
Considering the whirlwind circumstances around the trade, Bjugstad played well in his first game as a Penguin. In 16:13 time on ice, the 26-year-old registered one assist, two shots on goal, three hits, two penalty minutes, went plus-two, and earned the game’s third star for his efforts.
Sid Hits 60
Sidney Crosby has already broken 60 points (22G, 38A) and it’s taken him just 48 games to accomplish this. The native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia reached this milestone after registering his second assist on the night, which came on Guentzel’s dagger goal that restored a two-goal lead for the Pens with 17:08 remaining in the game.
According to the NHL Public Relations Twitter account, Crosby has managed to achieve 60 points prior to his 50th personal game for the seventh time in his career. Only Pittsburgh greats Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr have achieved this on more occasions, 12 and eight, respectively.
This season, Crosby leads the Penguins in points, and ranks 14th overall in the NHL. Over his career, the 31-year-old has amassed a mind-boggling 1,176 points (433G, 743A) in 912 games.
Perfect on the Power Play
Despite the Senators loss, they can at least celebrate the fact they went a perfect two-for-two on the power play. Goals on the man advantage came courtesy of Ryan and Boedker. On the 2018-19 campaign, Ottawa’s power play is ranked top 10 in the NHL, which clicks 21.4 per cent of the time. This is a significant improvement over last years power play, which was ranked 27th and only capitalized 16.6 per cent of all opportunities.
- Colin White returned from an upper body injury that he suffered on Jan. 10 against the Los Angeles Kings. The young forward was knocked out of action for three weeks after he received a heavy hit by former King- and current Toronto Maple Leaf- Jake Muzzin. Muzzin was recently acquired by the Leafs on Jan. 28 for Carl Grundstrom, Sean Durzi, and Toronto’s 2019 first-round pick.
- Anders Nilsson got to show off his new helmet and stick in this game against Pittsburgh. Previously, the 28-year-old continued to use his outdated Vancouver Canucks gear, while his new bucket and stick were being customized and developed.
Official 3 Stars of the Game
- Jake Guentzel, Pittsburgh
- Bryan Rust, Pittsburgh
- Nick Bjugstad, Pittsburgh
The Ottawa Senators immediately fly home to welcome the Detroit Red Wings to Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday. This will be the second of back-to-back games for both teams. While Ottawa visited Pittsburgh on Friday, Detroit was visited Ottawa’s provincial rivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Red Wings upset the Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime. On the season, Detroit is 20-25-7 and is only four points ahead of Ottawa, ranked 27th overall.
|Teddy Blueger (1)||Matt Cullen (9)|
|Jake Guentzel (25)||Sidney Crosby (37)
Kris Letang (31)
|Bryan Rust (13)||Phil Kessel (35)
Nick Bjugstad (8)
|Bobby Ryan (12)||Ryan Dzingel (19)
Chris Tierney (27)
|Bryan Rust (14)||Phil Kessel (36)
Jack Johnson (11)
|Mikkel Boedker (6)||Mark Stone (29)|
|Matt Duchene (21)||Maxime Lajoie (7)
Anders Nilsson (1)
|Jake Guentzel (26)||Sidney Crosby (38)
Brian Dumoulin (16)
Cover Photo Credit: Keith Srakocic / AP
Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter, @BillyMorrison01.