Better effort, same result for Senators

Now they’ll have to do more than a little soul searching. The Ottawa Senators lost their third straight game Wednesday night — and their fourth in five — falling 4-3 to the Minnesota Wild after Mikko Koivu broke a 3-3 tie with only minutes left in the contest.

Better effort, same result for Senators
Erik Karlsson (L) and Craig Anderson of the Ottawa Senators show their dejection after the goal by Dany Heatley of the Minnesota Wild during second period of NHL action at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, November 20, 2013. (Jean Levac/Ottawa Citizen)

Now they’ll have to do more than a little soul searching.

The Ottawa Senators lost their third straight game Wednesday night — and their fourth in five — falling 4-3 to the Minnesota Wild after Mikko Koivu broke a 3-3 tie with only minutes left in the contest.

Kyle Turris, with a short-handed goal, Mika Zibanejad and Milan Michalek, with a third-period power play goal, scored for the Senators. Zibanejad also had an assist.

Jason Pominville, Jonas Brodin, and Dany Heatley, who also had an assist, also scored for the Wild.

Craig Anderson faced 25 shots for Ottawa, while Josh Harding, yanked on Tuesday night in Montreal, faced 37.

The Senators got off to a fast start, outshooting the Wild 7-2 in the opening minutes, but hit a speed bump just five minutes in with a Jared Cowen giveaway to Jason Zucker at the side of the Ottawa net, followed by a penalty to Cowen for interfering with Pominville.

Against the fifth-best power play in the league, that could have been deadly — and it eventually was — but the Senators got a bit of luck first. A two-on-one break by Turris and Clarke MacArthur surprisingly turned it into a 1-0 Ottawa lead.

MacArthur made the pass of the year (so far) to Turris: He pulled the puck back between his legs, then slid it behind Minnesota defenceman to Ryan Suter to Turris in the slot, who beat Harding.

It was only the seventh time in 22 games that the Senators have scored first.

The lead wouldn’t last long, though.

Still on the power play, Pominville got his team-leading 13th a minute later, at 6:53, to tie the game.

The Senators regained the lead five minutes later when Zibanejad got two chances off a rebound from an Erik Condra shot and, from his knees, got the second one past Harding.

The Senators played to form in the second period and Anderson gave up two stinkers.

He fanned on Brodin’s wrister from the right point, then he and Erik Karlsson combined to let Heatley knock one in at the right post. Karlsson didn’t take Heatley and Anderson backed off the post, allowing the former Senators sniper to get two swipes and get the puck in with the second.

There was the usual bad luck, too: On a break as the clock ticked down, Zack Smith had Harding beat but hit the post.

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WHY THEY LOST

The usual: Weak goaltending and suspect defence. Twice they lost leads, with Anderson giving up two goals he’d probably like to have back.

CHEERS

Mika Zibanejad

The Senators youngster had a goal and an assist despite playing only 12:14. He was tied with several other Senators for the team lead in shots (4) as well.

JEERS

Craig Anderson

He let in a couple of second-period stinkers. He fanned on Jonas Brodin’s wrister from the point and let Heatley beat him with a wraparound at the post. The goaltending controversy is sure to heat up once again.

SHORT-HANDED RARITY

The short-handed goal by Kyle Turris in the first period was the first the Minnesota Wild allowed since Jan. 17, 2012, according to Mike Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. In last year’s lockout-shortened season, the Wild and the Islanders were the only two teams not to allow a short-handed goal.

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