James Neal had not scored a goal in eight games.

For a guy who hits the net as frequently as he does, it probably felt as if it were eight weeks. Maybe eight months.

So, when Neal got a Robert Bortuzzo rebound on his stick in the second minute of overtime Monday night at Consol Energy Center, he might have been tempted to rifle it toward the Ottawa net and simply hope it would elude goalie Craig Anderson.

But Neal opted to hold onto the puck, skate backward into the right circle and then throw it at -- and into -- the Senators' net for the winner in the Penguins' 2-1 victory.

By moving away from the slot before releasing the puck, Neal was able to get away from Anderson and defenseman Marc Methot, both of whom were in front of the net, and shoot at a mostly open net.

"It felt like a little while, a lot longer than it probably was, trying to be patient with the puck there and wait for an opening," he said.

Turned out to be well worth the wait, though, as he got his 18th goal this season but first since Jan. 10.

The Penguins played most of the evening without winger Taylor Pyatt, who was injured on the first shift of the game when he fell awkwardly into the boards after trying to throw a check. He was helped to the locker room. There was no immediate word on the nature or severity of his injury.