Senators win Capital clash

The Ottawa Senators crept closer to a playoff berth with their fourth straight victory on Thursday night, 3-1 over the Washington Capitals.

Senators win Capital clash
Jean-Gabriel Pageau of the Ottawa Senators is lost in a sea of Washington Capitals, Braden Holtby (L), Jack Hillen and Mike Green (R) of the Washington Capitals during third period NHL action at Scotiabank Place in Ottawa, April 18, 2013. Photo by Jean Levac/OTTAWA CITIZEN

The Ottawa Senators crept closer to a playoff berth with their fourth straight victory on Thursday night, 3-1 over the Washington Capitals.
With the eighth-place New York Rangers and the seventh-place New York Islanders also winning, the Senators needed the victory to keep their hold on sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Now only one point behind the fifth-place Toronto Maple Leafs, who lost to the Islanders, the Senators could leapfrog their Ontario rivals with a win here on Saturday night.
Might be a good night to lock Toronto fans out of the building.
Kyle Turris had two goals, one into an empty net with 1:27 left to seal the win, and Cory Conacher had one for the Senators, his second as a Senator.
Mike Ribeiro scored for the Capitals.
Craig Anderson didn’t have his busiest night of the season but was excellent in stopping 18 of 19 shots.
Braden Holtby faced 37 shots for the Capitals.
The Senators got out of the second period with a 2-1 lead but might have reasonably expected something better.
After outshooting the Capitals 11-4 in the first, they outshot them 16-8 in the second, and had some excellent chances, including one by Chris Neil that should make the highlight reels.
He did an expert imitation of Jason Spezza, sliding the puck through a surprised Capitals defenceman Mike Green for an open chance on Holtby.
Unluckily, he didn’t have Spezza’s ability to finish.
His backhand hit the left post and then bounced off Holtby’s back as he was sliding out of the net, his motion saving the day by dropping the puck wide of the net.
For the Senators, Turris opened the scoring at 1:15 with the 100th point of his career and his first goal in 14 games (since March 17) when he beat Holtby with a shot from the right side.
Ribeiro evened it at 11:14 when he batted a pass from Martin Erat out of the air and past Anderson, but Conacher put the Senators ahead two minutes later on a pure gift.
Behind his net to clear the puck up the left boards, Holtby put it squarely on Conacher’s stick. He sent it back into an open net.
With two power plays in the first period, the Senators should have generated some decent scoring chances, but they didn’t even scare the Capitals.
Instead, their best chances came when they were five-on-five, especially in the final five minutes, when they should have had at least one goal.
The power play remained stone cold.
Through the end of the first, it had been unsuccessful in its last eight chances and had produced only two goals in its last 35 chances.
The inability to score with the man advantage in four chances against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday had irked Senators coach Paul MacLean and was on its way to irking him again — and justifiably so, considering that the Capitals are the league’s second-worst team at killing penalties.
They would have one more power-play chance in the third, but it ended up being only 20 seconds long. Turris evened it up by getting called for holding the stick.
The period’s two best chances came from Chris Phillips and Guilluame Latendresse but they ended up letting Holtby off the hook by shooting wide.

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