Senators 5, Oilers 3
The Ottawa Senators won just in time to stay out of the NHL
Alex Kovalev had two goals and an assist for the Senators, who
snapped an 11-game losing streak and avoided the cellar by beating
the last-place Edmonton Oilers 5-3 on Saturday.
Milan Michalek, Bobby Butler and Peter Regin also scored for the
Senators (18-30-8), who broke an 0-9-2 skid and moved four points
ahead of Edmonton. Brian Elliott needed to stop only 15 shots to
earn the win.
”It feels great to end that streak,” Senators assistant
captain Chris Phillips said. ”It’s been a while since we won. It’s
”It was never one little thing that was happening all of the
time. It was different mistakes. You couldn’t just point your
finger at it and fix it. When a streak gets going like that you
can’t get any luck. But the guys worked hard through it and it
finally paid off for us.”
Ottawa’s last victory was Jan. 13, a 6-4 road win over the New
York Islanders, who lead the Senators by only one point in the
Eastern Conference standings.
”I think we’ll have a bit of a better feeling going to the rink
now,” Elliott said. ”Hopefully, a little more confidence and
cockiness. When you are not succeeding, it wears on you. Now we
have to make sure it isn’t just one win and that we go on a losing
Dustin Penner had a pair of goals, and Andrew Cogliano netted
the other for the Oilers (16-31-8), who have dropped two in a row
and have won only two of 13 games. Nikolai Khabibulin made 20
saves, but his personal losing streak was extended to 14 games.
”When they scored their second goal, it took a lot out of
energy out of us,” Oilers associate coach Ralph Krueger said. ”It
seemed whatever happened after that, the rest of the way we seemed
to have the hill ahead of us. The penalties were symbolic of that
”To play seven times short-handed for the second game in a row,
we can’t win hockey games doing that kind of thing.”
Ottawa took a 1-0 lead on its first shot less than three minutes
in. Butler took the puck away from Tom Gilbert and went around
defenseman Theo Peckham to score his first NHL goal.
But Edmonton tied it less than a minute later as Jordan Eberle
fed the puck to Cogliano in front and he slipped it underneath
The Senators scored on their second shot, as well. A long shot
by Kovalev flipped up into the air and appeared to be knocked into
the net by Khabibulin.
The Oilers tied it 2-2 early in the second period when Penner
unleashed a quick wrist shot that went in off the post and seemed
to handcuff Elliott.
Play became rough in the latter stages of the second period with
even Khabibulin and Senators tough guy Chris Neil shoving each
other before Peckham stepped in for the Oilers.
Khabibulin was called for a pair of minor penalties on the play
but the Oilers killed both to keep the game tied through two
Ottawa regained the lead eight minutes into the third on its
seventh power play. The puck bounced around in front of the Oilers
net before Michalek put a shot into the corner to make it 3-2.
Edmonton was awarded a two-man power-play advantage shortly
after but failed to capitalize.
The Senators gave themselves a cushion with six minutes left
when Kovalev made a nice feed on a 2-on-1 break to Regin, who
lifted the puck past Khabibulin.
The Oilers cut the deficit to a goal when Penner scored his
second of the game and 20th of the season with 2:21 left.
Kovalev scored his second of the game into an empty net to seal
the rare Senators win.
Notes: It was the second and final meeting between the clubs
this season. Edmonton won 4-1 in Ottawa on Nov. 29. … All six NHL
teams in Canada were scheduled to play each other Saturday on
Hockey Day in Canada. … Senators forward Jason Spezza played in
his 500th NHL game. … Oilers captain Shawn Horcoff missed the
game because of bronchitis. … Oilers coach Tom Renney missed his
second straight game to spend time with family following the death
of his father.