-Happy Festivus to all of you:
-Just for the fun of it, we dug up an old list we did and found out the Penguins' all-time leading scorers on Festivus:
-The Penguins appear set to use Chris Conner on the left wing of the second line and Harry Zolnierczyk on the third line. This seems a little suspect. Not that Zolnierczyk has lit things up by any means, but he finally scored his first goal of the season Saturday while Conner has had some success on Brandon Sutter's line.
-It's amazing how things can change from year to year. Last season, the Senators stayed in valiantly remained in playoff contention with a ravaged lineup minus the likes of Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza. This season, with a mostly healthy roster, they are struggling.
-One o fthe biggest reasons for that decline is the play in net. Craig Anderson is not playing at the same level as he did last season.
-As usual, Lyndon Slewidge handles business:
-The Penguins' starters are Sidney Crosby, Pascal Dupuis, Chris Kunitz, Robert Bortuzzo, Brian Dumoulin and Marc-Andre Fleury.
-Their scratches are Deryk Engelland, Brian Gibbons, Evgeni Malkin.
-The Senators' starters are Colin Greening, Chris Neil, Zach Smith, Eric Gryba, Marc Methot and Craig Anderson.
-Their scratches are Joe Corvo, Patrick Wiercioch and Mika Zibanejad.
17:28: Chuck Kobasew pushes the puck up the right wing and lifts a wrister off the side of the cage.
17:22: Corralling a puck at the left point, Dumoulin whacks a one-timer which hits a body in front.
16:26: Crosby tries to stickhandle and split Methot and Eric Gryba. Methot leans down and hip checks Crosby. Crosby is and his right skate nearly clip Dupuis in the face. His left leg ends up whipping Dupuis' right leg and drops him. Dupuis falls to the ice in discomfort. Athletic trainer Chris Stewart attends to Dupuis near the Ottawa end boards. Dupuis eventually returns to his skates but his helped to the bench by Kunitz and Matt Niskanen. He retreat to the dressing room.
16:18: Cory Conacher races up the left wing and flings a wrister on net. Fleury fights it off.
15:18: Off a drop pass, Philip Samuelsson booms a one-timer from above the left circle. Anderson fights it off.
14:38: Hustling up the left wing, Jean-Gabriel Pageau lifts a wrister from the right
14:21: Maatta takes a pass at the left point and drives a one-timer from the left point. Anderson eats it up despite traffic. Crosby is then spotted heading to the dressing room.
13:50: Niskanen heads to the dressing room too:
Crosby goes down runway and now Niskanen, too. #Penguins.— Shelly Anderson (@pgshelly) December 24, 2013
13:34: After a defensive zone turnover by Dumoulin, Cody Ceci flings a wrister on net from the right point. Fleury snags it.
13:10: Ceci dumps a puck into the Penguins' zone from the neutral zone with a hard wrister. It strikes Dean Morton in the back and drops him. An athletic trainer from the Senators rushes out to attend to Morton. As he recovers to his skates, Niskanen returns from the dressing r oom.
13:06: On the ensuing faceoff in the Penguins' zone, Zach Smith wins the draw. Colin Greening chips it back to Ceci at the right point. Ceci hammers a slapper on net. Fleury knocks it dead with his glove hand. Smith beats Jokinen to the rebound and backhands it behind Fleury. Ceci and Greening get assists. Put that one on Jokinen. Senators 1-0.
12:12: As the great Joe Vitale sails a wrister over the cage from the right wing, Crosby is seen returning to the bench while Niskanen heads back to the dressing room.
11:35: Settling a puck in front of the blue paint, Kobasew chips a wrister wide of the cage.
11:01: James Neal is skating with Kunitz and Crosby. Off a drop pass by Neal, Crosby snaps off a wrister which Anderson fights off.
10:29: Off a steal by Jokinen, Adams chucks a wrister from above the left circle. It hits a body in front. Zolnierczyk tries to clean up the rebound but puts it wide of the cage.
10:03: A slapper by Karlsson from the right wing is blasted wide of the cage.
10:00: The injuries and line changes seem to catch up to the Penguins as they are nabbed for too many men on the ice. Neal will serve the minor. Sutter, Zach Sill, Niskanen and Maatta take the ice.
9:52: A wrister by Karlsson from the right circle is blocked.
8:34: Ceci whacks a slapper from above the right circle which is blocked by Sill.
8:25: Ceci whips a wrister from the right circle. It hits the stick of Chris Neil park in front of the net and deflects wide.
8:18: Ceci gets another chance from the right circle. Fleury gloves it despite a screen by Neil.
8:05: Off a feed by MacArthur, Karlsson whips a wrister from the right point wide on the near side.
7:51: With the Penguin's bench minor expired, Karlsson chops a one-timer from the right point which hits off the stick of Erik Condra. Fleury makes the save and deflects out of play.
7:08: After strong strong work along the end boards, Crosby sneaks a pass from behind the cage to Neal above the blue paint. Neal whacks a one-touch shot wide of the cage.
6:35: The great Joe Vitale flings a spinning backhanded pass from the left circle to the slot. Zolnierczyk is hustling up the slot and is hooked up by Chris Phillips. That's two minutes for hooking. Neal Crosby, Kunitz, Jokinen and Niskanen take the ice.
6:26: From the right of the cage Jokinen lifts a backhander wide of the cage.
5:52: Off a feed from Jokinen, Crosby booms a slapper from the left circle wide to the far side.
5:38: Neal whips a wrister from the right circle which is fought off by Anderson.
4:35: The Penguins' power play expires. The Penguins generated a few chances from the perimeter.
4:07: Karlsson whacks a shot/pass from the right point. Milan Michalek is in the slot and re-directs it wide.
3:12: Pageau has a wrister from the right half wall blocked by Dumoulin.
2:49: Methot grips and rips a wrister from the right circle. Bortuzzo leans down and blocks it.
1:14: Samuelsson directs a shot/pass front he right point which hits a body in front.
0:59: Karlsson whips a rister from the right point which hits Ryan in the slot.
0:22: Kobasew tries to jam in a backhanded wraparound from the right of the cage. Anderson holds it out.
0:00: End of period. Senators 1, Penguins 0.
-This period got off to a rough, discombobulated start for the Penguins with Dupuis, Crosby and Niskanen each leaving the game for uncertain reasons. The Penguins just didn't look very organized from the get-go.
-Smith goal broke a pretty good streak for the Penguins. Prior to this game, they had scored the first goal in their past nine games.
-The Penguins' defense seemed to be a little rattled by Niskanen's absence. There were some sloppy plays in their own zone with the puck.
-Erik Karlsson looks like he wants to do some damage against the Penguins tonight.
-The Senators have a 10-6 lead in shots on net.
-The Senators have a 27-16 lead in attempted shots.
-Pageau and Ceci each lead the game with two shots.
-Karlsson leads the game with 9:30 of ice time.
-Dumoulin leads the Penguins with 7:35 of ice time.
-The Senators have a 14-5 lead in faceoffs (74 percent).
-Turris is 3 for 4 (75 percent).
-Sutter is 2 for 5 (40 percent).
-Maatta and Sill each lead the game with three blocked shots.
19:35: Niskanen whacks a slapper from the right point wide on the near side.
19:17: Maatta tries to carry the puck into the offensive zone on the left wing and is hit from behind by Neil. Officials call Neil for holding. We're not sure we saw much more than a legal but odd-looking check. With elements of the first power play unit a little gassed after the previous shift, Dumoulin, Simon Despres, Kobasew, Sutter and Conner take the ice.
19:09: Conner and Kobasew each get a chance in tight with a loose puck but can't get a clean shot off.
17:55: A one-timer by Niskanen from the left point his blocked by Greening.
17:15: Stealing a pass in the neutral zone, Grybus pushte the puck up the right in
17:05: Karlsson whacks a one-timer from the right point which hits Sill's leg.
17:00: Cowen collects a puck in the left circle and whacks it on net. Fleury smothers it to freeze play.
16:17: Off a faceoff win in the Senator's left circle, Conner rips a wrister which Andeson bodies away.
15:52: A wrister by Samuelsson from the left circle is blocked and deflects out of play.
15:36: Maatta booms a one-time from the left point. Anderson smothers it despite traffic.
15:05: another power play as Kunitz falls and clips Neil in the face with a stick. That's two minutes for high sticking. Adams, Sutter, Bortuzzo and Dumoulin take the ice.
14:54: Stealing a poor pass by Phillips at the Penguins' right point, Sutter hustles up the right wing an attacks the cage. He approaches the net and lifts a wrister to the far side. Anderson snags it with a glove hand.
14:14: The Senators cash in Off some strong puck movement around the perimeter, Phillips whacks a slapper from the left point. Bobby Ryan is alone in front of the cage and re-directs it by Fleury with the understand of his stick's shaft. Fleury didn't have a prayer on that one. Phillips and Karlsson get assists. Senators 2-0.
12:27: The Penguins will get a chance to get on the scoreboard as Zolnierczyk draws another hooking minor, this time from Smith. Crosby, Neal, Jokine, Kunitz and Jokinen take the ice.
12:02: Off a feed by Crosby, Niskanen whacks a one-timer from the left point. Anderson eats it up.
11:54: Crosby lifts a wrister from the left half wall which hits a stick and pops up over the net.
11:47: Moving in from the right half wall, Neal dodges a few stick checks and releases a low wrister from the right circle.
11:24: Taking a pass above the left circle, Niskanen rips a wrister wide of the cage.
11:27: The Smith minor expires. The Penguins weren't shy about shooting the puck but didn't really generate many suqlaity scorign chances.
10:34: Off a feed by Maatta, Dumoulin rips a wrister from the left circle wide of the cage.
9:53: Per Root Sports broadcaster Paul Steigerwald, Dupuis will not return due to a "lower-body" injury.
8:45: Dumoulin controls the puck behind the Penguins net and dodges out of a big hit attempt by Neil.
8:22: Sneaking up the right wing, Karlsson puts a low shot on net. Fleury kicks it out.
7:58: Settling a loose puck in his own slot, Dumoulin chips a puck up ice to Neal at the Ottawa blue line. Neal races in on net down the slot and snaps off a wrister which Anderson fights off. Big save.
7:13: Jokinen flings a puck down ice from the Penguins zone. Kunitz takes it at the Ottawa blue line and attacks the net with Ceci defending. He gets two shots down low but can't beat Anderson.
6:31: The great Joe Vitale controls a puck along the Senators' end boards and is tripped by by Spezza. That's two minutes. Crosby, Jokinen, Niskanen, Neal and Kunitz take the ice.
5:40: Niskanen whacks a slapper from above the left circle which hits a body in front.
4:36: Conner chops a shot from the left circle. Anderson fights it off.
4:31: The Spezza minor is killed. The Penguins looked pretty flat with that chance.
3:10: The Penguins can't do much with the power play but the Senators keep giving them chances. Cowen is called for interference against Zolnierczyk. Neil tries to even things up by shoving Kobasew a few times but Kobasew won't bite. Neal, Crosby, Kunitz, Jokinen and Niskanen take the ice.
3:06: Neal cranks a one-timer from the left circle. it misses the cage to the far side and ends up clearing the offensive zone on its own.
1:31: Off a feed by Dumoulin, Kobasew whacks a one-timer from above the left circle. Anderson fights it off.
1:10: The Cowen minor expires with little threat from the Penguins.
0:27: Big save. Karlsson takes a pass deep on the right wing and attacks the net. Fleury flops down and kicks out his forehand shot.
0:00: End of period. Senators 2, Penguins 0.
-The story of that period was Anderson. He stole a few goals from the Penguins. The Penguins have generated some quality shots but Anderson is tuned in.
-The power play has let the Penguins down badly tonight. Yes, the injuries have robbed the power play of some quality players, but that hasn't been an issue in recent weeks.
-Something doesn't seem right with Matt Niskanen. He's been sloppy with the puck.
-Zolnierczyk is doing quite a bit to stay on this roster once a few bodies get healthy. He's drawn three penaties, a big plus to the coaching staff.
-With Dupuis injured, Chuck Kobasew could be doing a few more things to stake a claim for a bigger role.
-The Penguins lead in shots on net, 18-14.
-The Penguins have a 46-34 lead in attempted shots.
-Maatta, Kobasew and Neal each lead the game with three shots.
-Ceci, Ryan, Pageau and Karlsson each lead the Senators with two shots.
-The Senators have a 21-16 lead in faceoffs (57 percent).
-Pageau is 7 for 8 (88 percent).
-Sutter is 6 for 10 (60 percent).
-Sill leads the game with four blocked shots.
-Methot leads the Senators with three blocked shots.
19:33: Neil gets two chances in tight but can't get a clean shot off.
18:45: A pedestrian wrister by Niskanen from the left half wall is steered away by Anderson.
18:33: A one-timer by Despres from the right point is denied by Anderson at first and trickles loose juuust wide to the far side.
18:24: Game. Set. Match. Karlsson takes a pass in the neutral zone, gains the offensive zone on the right wing twists Maatta inside out and lifts a perfect wrist shot over Fleury's left shoulder on the near side. The puck hits twine and blows up Fleury's water bottle. What an effort by Karlsson. MacArthur gets the only assist.
15:27: After a few stagnant minutes, Adams lofts a wrister from the center point on net. Anderson snags it.
14:53: Cowen flings a wrister from the right point which Fleury swats away with a glove hand.
13:36: A one-timer by Depsres in the left circle is blocked.
11:36: Phillips whacks a slapper from the left point which is blocked.
11:07: A wrister by Ryan in the left circle is blocked wide by Despres.
9:23: Fending off a few defenders, Michalek deals a nice blind backhanded pass to Turris to the left of the cage. Turris releases a quick one-tmer. Fleury reads it all the way and eats up the shot.
9:02: Depsres has a chance in the high slot and rips a wrister wide of the cage.
7:49: A wrister by Neal from a bad angle on the left wing is fought off by Anderson.
7:18: The rout is on. MacArthur deals a pass from above the right circle to Karlsson deep in the circle. Karlsson draws in a few defenders and sneaks a pass across the front to the blue paint to Turris. With Fleury badly out of position, Turris plunks the puck into a wide open net. That was ugly for every on on the ice in a white jersey. Karlsson and MacArthur get assists. Senators 4-0.
6:58: Condra rips a wrister from the right circle. Fleury kicks it out. Greening collects a rebound in the slot and rips a wrister wide of the cage.
6:21: Sing-song "Flerrrrr....Eeeeeee...." chants begin.
5:58: The Senators keep pouring it on. Spezza gains the offenvie zone on the left point, pulls up and flings a wrister on net. Fleury kicks it out to his left. Conacher drives to the net and directs it into the cage as Fleury s scrambling for puck. Officials rule a goal on the ice. A quick video replay confirms the call. This is ugly. Spezza and Methot get assists. Senators 5-0.
4:43: A heavy wrister by Michalek in the slot is kicked out by Fleury.
4:19: On a delayed penalty, Maatta booms a slapper from the right point. Anderson kicks it out. Spezza is sent off for tripping the great Joe Vitale. Crosby, Niskanen, Kunitz, Neal and Jokinen take the ice.
3:31: Crosby tries to drive through a check at the blue line by Gryba. Crosby takes a tumble and the Gryab is penalized. The Penguins will have a five-on-three power play for 1:12. Niskanen,
3:22: Neal booms a one-timer from the right circle. No dice.
3:09: Kunitz is called for slashing Phillips in front of the crease. That will makes this a four-on-three power play for the Penguins for 50 seconds. Crosby, Niskanen, Jokinen and Neal take the ice.
2:31: Off a give an go with Neal, Crosby whacks a one-timer from the slot. Anderson knocks it dead and covers.
2:23: A wrister by Neal from above the left circle is deflected away.
2:19: Spezza return to the ice. The will be 48 seconds of four-on-four play.
1:31: Gryba returns to play. The Senator will have a brief five-on-four power play.
1:09: Kunitz returns to the ice.
0:40: Ryan and Bortuzzo mix it up in front of Fleury. They get matching cross checking minors. They chirp one another from the penalty box quite a bit.
0:20: The great Joe Vitale rips a wrister from the left wing on net. Anderson fight if off.
0:00 End of game. Senators 5, Penguins 0.
-First things first, an update of sorts on Dupuis:
Bylsma had no update on Dupuis other than he will be evaluated in Pittsburgh. Crosby said Dupuis "was in some pain." #Penguins— Shelly Anderson (@pgshelly) December 24, 2013
-Craig Anderson was the star of this game. The Penguins put plenty of quality shots on net. He turned everything away. He ate up the puck he should have and kicked out safe rebounds. He's the biggest reason this game turned out as it did.
-The Penguins' themselves were a big reason this game turned out as it did. They were very, very sloppy. Every player who took the ice in a white jersey can lay claim to this mess tonight. Puck management was sloppy and positioning in the defensive zone was off. The Senators jumped all over the Penguins' numerous mistakes.
-The injuries/suspensions and the schedule may have finally gotten to the Penguins. With so many fill-ins in the lineup and seven games in 11 days, the Penguins were due to eventually lose and lose badly. This upcoming holiday break is much needed.
-Marc-Andre Fleury could have been better but the stats on this game will make him look worse than he actually played. This game blew up on him in the third period when it was well out of reach.
-Eventually, this game got to the point where this game was the equivalent of the last two periods of the final day of school before Christmas break. The Penguins were ready for their Christmas break it seemed once it got to a 3-0 score.
-As we said earlier, the Penguins seemed to be knocked off stride by the injury to Dupuis and the absences of Sidney Crosby and Matt Niskanen. The lines and pairings were jumbled up and something just seemed off.
-Niskanen, individually seemed to be off. He was a bit sloppy with the puck.
-For everyone who pines to see Crosby play with James Neal, you got your wish tonight and the results weren't great. Granted, they were teamed on the fly but there didn't seem to be they didn't seem to be on the same page much of the night.
-Harry Zolnierczyk and the great Joe Vitale were the rare bright spots for the Penguins tonight. They drew a few penalties, a quality this coaching staff values.
-The special teams, which have been so sturdy for the Penguins in recent weeks, let them down in a big way tonight. The Penguins created some shots with the man advantage but they just seemed off. The power play wasn't tested a much but it allowed a crucial goal in the second period to Bobby Ryan.
-How good did Erik Karlsson look? He certainly seems to have fully recovered from his injury last season.
-Clarke MacArthur always seems to produce against the Penguins. He now has 25 points in 25 career games against the Penguins.
-The Senators led in shots on net, 29-27.
-Neal led the game in shots with 6.
-Cody Ceci, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Cory Conacher each led the Senators with three shots.
-The Penguins had a 28-27 edge in faceoffs (51 percent).
-Niskanen led the game with 24:35 of ice time.
-Karlsson led the Senators with 23:19.
-Pageau was 8 for 11 (73 percent).
-Crosby was 12 for 22 (55 percent).
-Zach Sill led the game with four blocked shots.
-Karlsson and Marc Methot each led the Senators with three blocked shots.
-Crosby had a 10-game scoring streak snapped.
-The Senators' last regular season shutout of the Penguins was in a 3-0 win, Feb. 12, 2003. Former Penguins goaltender Patrick Lalime made 20 saves.
-The Penguins' Festivus Day record dropped to 12-18-2.
-Here's a heck of a stat from Penguins broadcaster Bob Grove:
Tonight only 4th time in 358 GP under Bylsma Pens lost by 5+: 11-7-09 at SJ (0-5), 2-11-11 at NYI (3-9), 4-3-13 at NYR (1-6).— Pens Radio Network (@PensRadioNet) December 24, 2013