Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senators 2, Penguins 1 Depleted Lineup Still Gets the Point Penguins Lose Shootout as Condon Stands Tall to Stop Former Team

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Senators 2, Penguins 1 Depleted Lineup Still Gets the Point Penguins Lose Shootout as Condon Stands Tall to Stop Former Team

Article excerpt

OTTAWA, Ontario - Just about everything throughout the Penguins' game against the Senators Thursday night made it feel like a preview of next month's playoffs.

Well, everything except the ending.

The Penguins battled through a tight-checking game against a highly-structured Ottawa team for three periods before ultimately falling, 2-1, in a shootout.

If this game took place next month, the teams might have played until 2 a.m.

"I thought it was certainly like a playoff intensity," defenseman Ian Cole said. "They need wins, they're chasing the No. 1 spot in their division, obviously so are we. I think it was certainly a playoff-type feel to it. High physicality and there's a lot of importance on every play. I thought we did a real good job all game long."

Even if the Penguins were pleased with their play, the end result was one point in the standings, not two. With Washington's shootout win against Columbus in Washington, the Penguins remained in second place in the Metropolitan Division, one point ahead of Columbus and two behind the Capitals.

Facing Ottawa coach Guy Boucher's 1-3-1 system, the Penguins got enough chances at the net to potentially win the game, but were stymied most of the night by Senators goalie Mike Condon, who finished with 34 saves.

Condon started the season as a Penguin but played in just one game before being traded to Ottawa. He's now 2-0 against his former team this year.

"We had a fair amount of chances, we just couldn't convert," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said. "I thought our guys played hard. It wasn't a case of not establishing zone time or some opportunities at the net. I thought we had some quality chances, we just didn't convert."

The only time the Penguins did convert all night was when Nick Bonino continued his red-hot run through the month of March. Bonino beat Condon on the power play at 9:21 of the second period for his seventh goal in the past nine games.

Bonino now has 16 goals on the season, the second highest total of his career. …

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