Penguins Fall to Senators; Pascal Dupuis’ Season in Jeopardy After Awkward Collision
Despite rattling off victories in 12 of their last 13 games, the Pittsburgh Penguins found a way to look completely flat against an Ottawa Senators team that wasn’t exactly lighting the world on fire.
Pittsburgh came into the game skating well. They looked as though they were ready to play.
At 6:54 of the first period, Ottawa Senators forward Zach Smith scored the game winning goal off of a tough, gritty backhand. The following goals by Bobby Ryan, Erik Karlsson, Kyle Turris, and Cory Conacher were not necessary, but each were a great display of individual talent excelling through team effort.
Erik Karlsson finished the game with a goal and two assists, bumping his league leading points by a defenseman up to 37. Bobby Ryan scored a great deflection goal while on the power play, bumping his total goals scored on the season up to 17.
While the offensive talent of Ottawa surely stands out with five goals scored, it was Craig Anderson who truly was the star of the game.
The Ottawa netminder stopped all 27 shots against him, getting his second shutout of the season. His most impressive statistic came by stopping all ten Pittsburgh shots on the power play; forcing the then “best” power play in the league to go 0-7.
The strong net front presence of Ottawa combined with the great play of Anderson kept Pittsburgh off the score sheet and out of the game.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, Pascal Dupuis was injured early in the game.
Senators defenseman Mark Methot hip checked Sidney Crosby down low, forcing him up and over Methot’s backside. Crosby’s body carried over right into Dupuis, who was skating just to the side of Crosby, and it appeared as though Crosby’s legs hit Dupuis in the outer knee area.
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, the video replay shows Dupuis’ knee buckle under and the initial fears for Pittsburgh is a torn MCL, which ranges from a four month timeline to nine months depending on the severity.
Pittsburgh has now lost their only constant on the season, as Kunitz/Crosby/Dupuis had yet to miss a game, putting coach Bylsma and Sidney Crosby into even more difficult leadership roles.
Heading into Carolina on Friday night, Pittsburgh is expected to be without Dupuis and Malkin, until further tests provide clarity, but they are expected to gain Tanner Glass back from injury.
Glass broke his hand about a month ago while blocking a shot. His depth play and penalty killing experience will fit right in with this club.
Deryk Engelland is able to return from suspension at this point in time, although not many are clamoring for his services at the moment. Rob Scuderi, as well as Brooks Orpik, are said to be ready for a return as soon as next week.
*Update - Pascal Dupuis to undergo surgery on a torn ACL, timeline unknown, but initial thoughts are season ending. Expect Pittsburgh to be in play for a top target at wing.