Michalek, Turris lead Senators past Flames 6-3
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) The Ottawa Senators are hoping to slip into the playoffs with a strong finish.
They’re going to need some help.
Milan Michalek and Kyle Turris had two goals apiece to lead Ottawa to a 6-3 victory over the Calgary Flames on Sunday.
The Senators have picked up seven points in their last four games, but they are six points back of the second wild-card berth in the Eastern Conference with eight games remaining.
”We’ll have to continue to play hard in those games and I’ll like where we’ll be at the 82-game mark,” Senators coach Paul MacLean said. ”I might be dreaming but that’s what I believe.”
Jared Cowen gave Ottawa a lift with a tiebreaking goal on a wrist shot 1:12 into the third period, and Clarke MacArthur made it 5-3 with a tip-in at 12:22. Turris then scored his 25th goal into an empty net.
”In the third we continued to play our game and we were smarter and made better decisions,” said Turris, who also had an assist.
”We put the puck deep when we were up by one or two and we played our game the whole way through, we just made smarter decisions in the third.”
Robin Lehner made 37 saves as the Senators (31-29-14) won back-to-back games on home ice for the first time since they won three straight in late December and early January.
Matt Stajan, Paul Byron and Sean Monahan scored for the Flames (31-37-7), and Karri Ramo made 31 saves.
Calgary outplayed Ottawa in the second, outshooting the Senators 21-9, but it was tied at 3 heading into the final period.
Byron, an Ottawa native, tied it at 2 when he corralled a rebound in the slot and put a shot into the top corner four minutes into the second.
It was Byron’s third career game in his hometown, and he has a goal in two of them. He scored his first goal in his second NHL game for Buffalo at the Senators on Jan. 25, 2011.
”I always enjoy playing in Ottawa in front of friends and family and I appreciative of all the things they’ve done for me over the years,” Byron said.
”It’s hard to stay focused sometimes and you get distracted getting tickets and putting people on lists to see after (the game). I just try to stay focused and I’m happy I have success here.”
Monahan then gave Calgary its first lead when he picked the corner over Lehner’s left shoulder at 7:05.
Monahan is the third rookie this season to reach 20 goals, joining Colorado’s Nathan MacKinnon (23) and Tampa Bay’s Tyler Johnson (22).
Michalek scored both of his goals in the first period, helping the Senators to a 2-1 lead. He opened the scoring when he redirected a point shot from Erik Karlsson past Ramo at 10:42.
After Stajan tied it with his 12th of the season, Michalek made the most of a great play by Jason Spezza and put Ottawa in front again.
Spezza moved around a sliding Calgary defenseman behind the goal line, cut back out in front and slid a backhand pass to Michalek for his 16th goal at 19:37.
”They capitalized on their chances and they put the puck in the back of the net,” Monahan said. ”That’s something that we can fix and they’re simple mistakes.
”We had a lot of chances and unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize on some of them. At the end of the day we have to find a way to pull out the win.”
NOTES: Ottawa scratched Cody Ceci, Bobby Ryan and Colin Greening, and Calgary scratched Bryce Van Bradrant, Ladislav Smid, Dennis Wideman, Kenny Agostino, David Jones, Ben Hanowski and Markus Granlund. … The game was the first Ceci has missed in his career since he was called up from Binghamton in early December. He played in 41 straight games.