PITTSBURGH – James Neal scored twice and Sidney Crosby had a goal and two assists to help the Pittsburgh Penguins beat Ottawa 4-2 on Wednesday night, in a game marred by the loss of Senators star defenseman Erik Karlsson to a left Achilles injury.
The Norris Trophy winner last season as the NHL’s top defenseman, Karlsson was cut by Penguins forward Matt Cooke’s skate blade late in the second period. He will need surgery.
Pascal Dupuis also scored for Pittsburgh, Paul Martin had two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 26 saves. The Penguins pulled within a point of Eastern Conference-leading New Jersey.
Stephane Da Costa scored his first goal of the season, and Jim O’Brien also scored for Ottawa. The Senators lost for the fifth time in seven games.
The loss of the Karlsson is a major blow for the Senators, already playing without center Jason Spezza and left wing Milan Michalek. Spezza is out indefinitely after surgery for a herniated disk, and Michalek was a late scratch Wednesday because of a lower-body injury.
The Penguins scored the lone goal of the opening period when Dupuis one-timed a cross-ice feed from Crosby with 3:37 left.
The Senators took the lead with goals scored 24 seconds apart.
The first came just as a two-man advantage expired as Da Costa, from behind the net, banked a shot off the back of Fleury’s pads.
O’Brien gave the Senators the lead 24 seconds later.
Neal tied it less than 3 minutes later and put the Penguins ahead for good early in the third period. Crosby scored midway through the period.
BLUES 4, RED WINGS 3, OT: Alexander Steen stuffed in a rebound 52 seconds into overtime, lifting St. Louis to a 4-3 slump-stopping victory over Detroit.
Following a 5-1 start, the Blues had lost five straight.