Ryan Malone scored Pittsburgh's third power-play goal of the game with only 1:02 remaining and the Penguins squandered a three-goal lead against Ottawa, then rallied for a 5-3 victory Friday night over the Senators and a sweep of their first two home games in the Eastern Conference playoff series.
Petr Sykora scored two of the three goals set up by Evgeni Malkin as the Penguins _ who also blew a three-goal lead against Ottawa at home on Feb. 23 and lost 4-3 in overtime _ dodged what might have been a frantic, series-changing rally by Ottawa.
Malone added an empty net goal with 6.5 seconds remaining _ the Penguins' 54th shot, easily their most in regulation in their playoff history. The previous record was 49 shots.
Sergei Gonchar also scored and Sidney Crosby, held scoreless as Pittsburgh won 4-0 in Game 1, had four assists. The series now shifts to Ottawa for Game 3 on Monday and Game 4 on Wednesday. The Senators have never won any of the six previous playoff rounds in which they trailed 2-0, including last season's five-game Stanley Cup finals against Anaheim.
Martin Lapointe's high-sticking penalty on Jarkko Ruutu at center ice with 1:14 remaining put Pittsburgh on its sixth power play. Crosby controlled the puck after the faceoff, fought off defenseman Anton Volchenkov in the corner and got it to Martin Hossa. Malone grabbed the rebound, went behind the net and stuffed a wraparound inside the post past an outstretched Martin Gerber.
After Pittsburgh scored the first seven goals of the series, the Senators _ desperately trying to salvage a game in Pittsburgh _ finally got to Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury to tie it on goals by Shean Donovan, Cory Stillman and Cody Bass. Bass' first career playoff goal tied it with slightly more than nine minutes remaining.
Until then, the Senators had no answer for Malkin's playmaking and stickhandling, which led to a series of scoring chances, or the agitation of longtime playoff opponent Gary Roberts, who drew several early penalties. Roberts had two goals in Game 1 despite missing all but one game in the second half of the season with a broken leg.
The Senators' offense looked lost without injured captain Daniel Alfredsson for a game and a half, only to quickly find itself after it looked like Pittsburgh might win in another rout.
Donovan, a former Pittsburgh forward, scored 33 seconds following Sykora's second goal, after he redirected Chris Neil's pass along the goal line. Stillman scored less than five minutes later as Ottawa converted for the first time in its nine power play chances in the series, steering a shot between Fleury's pads from the crease as he and teammate Jason Spezza both punched at the puck.
The Senators won that Feb. 23 game on Alfredsson's goal with four seconds left in overtime.
Notes:@ Volchenkov returned despite having a swollen forehead that needed 15 stitches, after he was struck in the helmet by Malkin's slap shot in Game 1. ... Ottawa has never won more than two games in a series in which it trailed 2-0. ... The Penguins lost two of the 10 previous series they led 2-0, to the Islanders in 1975 and the Flyers in 2000. ... Sykora has never had a hat trick in 935 career games in the regular season and playoffs. ... The Penguins have won 10 in a row in Pittsburgh. ... The Penguins last led a playoff round 2-0 in 2001, when they needed seven games to eliminate Buffalo. ... Pittsburgh has won Game 2 in its last seven playoff series.
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