The post-game report: What they said after stealing victory from defeat and more on Mika Zibanejad

All things considered, the Senators stole two points from the Washington Capitals Tuesday, storming back from an awful start and a 2-0 deficit to improve their record to 4-1-1.

The Senators sit in fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, with a chance to pull even with the Boston Bruins atop the standings if they can knock off the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday.

All things considered, the Senators stole two points from the Washington Capitals Tuesday, storming back from an awful start and a 2-0 deficit to improve their record to 4-1-1.

The Senators sit in fourth spot in the Eastern Conference, with a chance to pull even with the Boston Bruins atop the standings if they can knock off the Montreal Canadiens Wednesday.

SOME SELECT QUOTES FOLLOWING THE VICTORY

Coach Paul MacLean on the Senators slow start: “They were better than us, they established their game. They controlled the game. They dictated the game. They won all the faceoffs. They had the puck most of the time. We were chasing the game. Craig (Anderson) made a couple of saves at 2-0 to keep us in the game and in the third period we certainly played the way we wanted to.”

MacLean on giving the fourth line of Mika Zibanejad, Erik Condra and Jim O’Brien additional ice time: “They were the best line. The best guys play, it doesn’t matter who it is. And they were the best group by far, so we had to make sure we got them on the ice.”

Defenceman Sergei Gonchar on the winning goal: “I was trying to get it as hard as I could to the net. I was looking at the guy in front of me, trying to make sure it goes by him.”

Gonchar, on the importance of Chris Neil and Guillaume Latendresse causing traffic in front of the Capitals net, screening Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth: “They did a terrific job. Neil is always there. He’s a big presence in front of the net. A lot of the success of our power play comes from him or somebody else staying in front of the goalies.”

Centre/left winger Jim O’Brien on the comeback: “We took a deep breath and went out there and kept moving our feet.”

Goaltender Craig Anderson on how the Senators turned the game around: “We started executing, as opposed to just throwing the puck away and playing with a bouncy ball out there.”

Captain Daniel Alfredsson on the importance of the victory: “It’s huge. We know that from last year that we’ve got to play to the end. (At the start), they forechecked us really hard. Our first goal was huge for us.”

Alfredsson on the Senators’ ability to come from behind: “We know we can do it and that’s a good feeling. We know it’s not going to happen every time, but the more times you do it, the more confident you become and the more teams become aware of it.”

THE NUMBERS

31: Saves from Craig Anderson

24: Saves from Michal Neuvirth

1-for-4: Senators power play

0-for-2: Capitals power play

8: Hits by John Erskine

6: Hits by Chris Neil

26:58: Erik Karlsson’s ice time

25:05: Sergei Gonchar’s ice time

25:01: Mike Green’s ice time

 THE MIKA ZIBANEJAD FILE

Welcome back, Mika Zibanejad.

In case there was any doubt, Senators fans will get at least one more look at the 19-year-old rookie centre Wednesday against the Montreal Canadiens.

“I think he was the first star,” coach Paul MacLean said, when asked about the chances of him playing against Montreal. “We usually play the first star.”

The soft-spoken Zibanejad acknowledged having some nerves in the first period, but was satisfied with his play in the final two periods.

“I started playing like I should and I felt pretty good,” he said. “I just try to go out there and work as hard as I can and if the coach puts me out there, I’m just trying to keep working hard.”

Right winger Erik Condra, who was pivotal in the comeback, was more outspoken about Zibanejad’s skill set.

“He can skate, he drives to the net, he’s got powerful legs, you can tell how he can get up the ice,” said Condra. “And he’s got a shot. If any of those hit the net, they’ll be going in.”

 ZIBANEJAD’S NUMBERS

14:28: ice time

4: shots on goal

2: hit total

2-4: faceoff record

 

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