Karlsson lifts Senators over Wild in overtime
OTTAWA, Ontario -- Erik Karlsson figures the Ottawa Senators pretty well have to run the table to have a shot at a wild card spot at an Eastern Conference playoff spot.They made a mad dash late Tuesday night to keep their hopes alive.Karlsson sco...
OTTAWA, Ontario - Erik Karlsson figures the Ottawa Senators pretty well have to run the table to have a shot at a wild card spot at an Eastern Conference playoff spot.
They made a mad dash late Tuesday night to keep their hopes alive.
Karlsson scored with 30.4 seconds left in overtime to give the Senators a dramatic 3-2 win over the Minnesota Wild at Canadian Centre, moving Ottawa to within five points of the Detroit Red Wings in the race for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.
The Senators made it to the extra period on Mika Zibanejad’s equalizer 7.1 seconds from the third period buzzer.
“We’re going to try and win every single game that we have left,” said Karlsson, whose winner was off a slap shot from the slot that beat goalie Devan Dubnyk. “That’s the mentality we’re going to have in here. At the end of the day, we’re going to be where we are. It’s not going to be because of these last 11 games here. We just have to play the games, play hard, play for each other and at the end of the year show that we still care in here.”
Mike Hoffman had the other for the Senators (33-30-8) while Ryan Carter and Nino Niederreiter scored for the Wild (32-27-11).
Despite losing a valuable point, the Wild remain one ahead of Colorado in the battle for the last wild card spot in the West.
“It’s a big point, but you don’t want to look back when the regular season is over and say it was about 10 seconds,” said Wild center Erik Haula. “We’re not going to look at it right now. We’re just going to keep playing, fix some of those things and keep getting better.”
Craig Anderson made 23 saves to pick up his 29th win while Dubnyk stopped 17 shots. The Senators only tested Dubnyk once in the first 19 minutes of the third until getting three shots with Anderson on the bench for an extra attacker, including Zibanejad’s game-saving goal from a rebound off the end boards.
“I think we stuck to it and that’s what we’ve been preaching for the last couple of games here,” Zibanejad said of the Senators’ patience. “To be able to do it and come out with a win, that’s a good setting stone to keep going.”
Zibanejad displayed all sorts of resilience in the third, as he had three consecutive slap shots blocked by Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon during an Ottawa power play. Spurgeon was credited with a forth, off Senators winger Zack Smith, during the same short-handed situation.
Both teams ended up 0 for 3 on the power play.
“You couldn’t give a better example of an athlete that what Spurgeon did for us tonight,” said Wild coach John Torchetti. “That’s commitment. That’s what we need more of. (He showed) the heart of a lion. The whole team was spurred from it. I just thought the emotion would kind of carry us through there.”