Sports

Hornqvist, Guentzel score in second period to lift Penguins over Senators

Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel scored second-period goals Thursday as the Pittsburgh Penguins hung on for a 3-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist (72) celebrates his goal against Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) with teammate Riley Sheahan (15) during second period NHL hockey action, in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Pittsburgh Penguins right wing Patric Hornqvist (72) celebrates his goal against Ottawa Senators goalie Craig Anderson (41) with teammate Riley Sheahan (15) during second period NHL hockey action, in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

OTTAWA — Matt Murray's big save in the first period on Mike Hoffman may have been the turning point for the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

Hoffman had a rebound and open net to the right of Murray, but the Pittsburgh goaltender dove across to knock a shot off the goal-line with his glove.

The play was reviewed, but the call on the ice stood as the puck never crossed the line and barely rolled to the outside of the post. The Penguins went on to win the game 3-1.

"It looks like it's a for sure goal with the play they made and (Murray) looks like he was down and out and finds a way to get his glove on it," said Pittsburgh captain Sidney Crosby. 

"That's a big point in the game and if they score that they get some momentum and it's a different outcome."

Murray made 21 saves for the win in net and faced just 12 shots over the final two periods.

Patric Hornqvist and Jake Guentzel scored second-period goals for the Penguins (11-7-3). Riley Sheahan added an empty netter at 19:29 of the third.

"It was nice to get a road win," Crosby added. "They're not a team that gives you a lot so we had to play a patient game and we generated some good chances."

After Murray's big save in the first, the Penguins took control of the game allowing just the one good scoring chance the rest of the way on the breakaway goal by Jean-Gabriel Pageau at 10:29 of the third period.

Craig Anderson turned aside 26-of-28 shots as Ottawa (8-4-5) saw its two-game winning streak end.

"I thought we had a good start but it's hard to come back from two goals against a good team like that," Pageau said.

"I thought we played better than them in the first and obviously a good team is going to bounce back. They did play a better second than us."

Matt Duchene, acquired by the Senators last week and playing in his third game with Ottawa, agreed.

"We got away from what we did in the first," he said. "In the first we were foot to the floor, we were getting pucks to the net and in the second we couldn't get any flow. It was kind of a disjointed game."

The teams were playing a tight checking controlled game through the first half of the third period as both sides had just one shot each through the first 10 minutes.

"We were patient, we took plays when they were there and when we didn't we got pucks deep and we went to work," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said.

"I think that's the type of game you have to play against a counter-attack team like Ottawa. I thought our guys really bought in."

The Senators host the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday while the Penguins will be home to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Notes: Nick Paul was the lone scratch for the Senators while scratches for the Penguins were Frank Corrado and Josh Archibald…Senators forward Zack Smith was placed on injured reserve with a thumb injury and didn't play… The Penguins are 7-1-2 in their last 10 games against Ottawa.

More on Metronews.ca