Senators win 3-1 over Washington

Finally, for the first time since Nov. 5-9, when they won three games in a row, the Ottawa Senators won two games in a row, holding off the Washington Capitals 3-1 on Monday night.

Aaron Volpatti (L) tries to avoid Cory Conacher (C) and Joe Corvo (R) in the 2nd period as the Ottawa Senators take on the Washington Capitals in NHL action at the Canadian Tire Centre. (Wayne Cuddington / Ottawa Citizen)

Finally, for the first time since Nov. 5-9, when they won three games in a row, the Ottawa Senators won two games in a row, holding off the Washington Capitals 3-1 on Monday night.

They’ll now have two days of relative rest before facing the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.

Mika Zibanejad, with his ninth, Kyle Turris, with his 10th, and Clarke MacArthur, into an empty net, scored for the Senators.

On a two-on-one with an empty net in front of him, Erik Karlsson unselfishly gave the puck to MacArthur for the easy goal. MacArthur hadn’t had a goal in 10 games.

Joel Ward scored for the Washington’s lone goal.

Craig Anderson, the first star of the game, faced 35 shots for the Senators, while Philipp Grubauer faced 38 shots for the Capitals.

For the 27th time in 42 games, the Senators gave up the first goal of the game, this one coming only 2:11 into the game.

For Anderson, it wasn’t a flattering goal. With his back to the net, Ward beat Anderson with a backhand to the stick side. Anderson couldn’t get his stick in position to stop it.

But for the rest of the period, the Senators more than held their own, outshooting the Capitals 11-10 and tying the game at 13:49 on a textbook two-on-one between Cory Conacher and Zibanejad.

Zibanejad finished it by dumping Conacher’s return pass into a mostly open right side.

“It was a perfect pass,” said Zibanejad.

The Senators might have got out of the first with a lead if they had been able to make something of their two power-play chances, but they couldn’t.

One worrisome note was that Chris Neil played only 3:02 before leaving the game with a lower-body injury after colliding with Alexander Ovechkin. It wasn’t immediately known how serious Neil’s injury may be.

But, considering that Jason Spezza’s status is also uncertain for Thursday’s game against the Winnipeg Jets, the Senators will almost certainly have to recall a forward from Binghamton. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Mark Stone get his chance.

With a terrific individual effort, Turris gave the Senators a 2-1 lead at 3:14 of the second.

After taking a pass from Bobby Ryan, Turris fought through hooks from Washington defenceman Mike Green and John Erskine before beating Grubauer.

For a time after that goal, the Senators controlled the game, with the Capitals looking very much like a team that had played the night before.

But then the flow shifted and the Capitals were all over the Senators, who were saved by Anderson in what might have been his best period of work this season. He faced 14 shots and had to make a number of big saves to get the Senators out of the period with a lead.

 

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