Ottawa snaps 3-game skid, Alfredsson ends scoring slump in win

OTTAWA (AP) -- Senators coach Bryan Murray made one request of his players before the game Saturday: Show some emotion.

The team responded.

Daniel Alfredsson had two goals and an assist, helping the Ottawa Senators snap a three-game skid with a 5-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday.

Antoine Vermette, Martin Lapointe and Dany Heatley also scored for the Senators, and goalie Martin Gerber made 25 saves. Alfredsson had just one goal in his previous nine games.

"All I asked the guys to do was play their positions better, move the puck quicker and play with some emotion," said Murray, who was behind the bench for just the second game since relieving John Paddock as coach earlier in the week.

"Now hopefully we can ride the crest of that little bit of fire when we go out west," he said.

Evgeni Malkin had a goal and two assists for Pittsburgh. Ryan Malone and Petr Sykora also scored, and Ty Conklin stopped 25 shots.

After winning six of eight, the Penguins have now lost four of five. The Senators won for just the third time in 10 games.

Malkin scored the only goal of the third period as he beat Gerber with a hard shot from the top of the faceoff circle with six minutes to play.

"I think we're still playing pretty good and in games like this we're getting bad breaks," Talbot said. "We've got a lot of guys down but we're playing well. It's not like we're getting out worked and out muscled."

Malone opened the scoring, but goals by Vermette and Alfredsson late in the period gave the Senators a 2-1 lead.

Not only did Vermette score, he had his first NHL fight -- against Maxime Talbot

"We realize that we have to turn things around here and not worry so much about the results but more on the preparation and the intensity. I think we had a pretty good effort and that's what we're going to have to do."

Sykora's power-play goal with just 12 seconds to play in the period pulled the Penguins even heading into the first intermission.

Alfredsson scored a short-handed goal just 90 seconds into the second but Malone tied it 3-3 a minute later.

Sergei Gonchar took a double-minor for cross-checking midway through the second period and it proved costly as the Senators scored on both ends of the man advantage to take a 5-3 lead.

"That was definitely the turning point and it was a tough call against us," Penguins coach Michel Therrien said.

Lapointe scored his first goal as a Senator when his pass in front of the net deflected off Penguins defenseman Darryl Sydor and in. On the second power play, Heatley scored for just the third time in his past 10 games. His one-timer went off the crossbar and in behind Conklin to give the Senators the 5-3 lead they took into the second intermission.

Game notes
Penguins rookie Alex Goligoski recorded a second-period assist Saturday for his first career NHL point in just his second career game. ... Lapointe took three straight minors and now has 1,400 career penalty minutes.