Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Zibanejad Lifts Senators over Sharks 5-2; Ottawa Reclaims Playoff Berth

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Zibanejad Lifts Senators over Sharks 5-2; Ottawa Reclaims Playoff Berth

Article excerpt

Zibanejad lifts Senators over Sharks 5-2

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OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators may be in the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but they're far from satisfied.

Thanks to a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks Monday night Ottawa leapfrogged the Boston Bruins for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. Ottawa has a game in hand.

The Senators run has been impressive, going 17-2-2 in their past 21 games, considering they trailed the Bruins (36-25-12) by 14 points in early February.

"We've been chasing it and that's been our goal to get inside the eight so it's real enjoyable," said Ottawa head coach Dave Cameron. "Wins are always nice and they're really nice in this case because we're in the top eight with a day off (Tuesday) so it's a time to sit back and regroup and actually enjoy it for a day."

Mika Zibanejad led Ottawa (37-24-11) with two goals. Alex Chiasson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mike Hoffman, with an empty-net goal, also scored for the Senators. Andrew Hammond, making his seventh straight start, improved his record to 14-0-1 in his first 15 NHL starts. He stopped 29 shots.

Joe Pavelski and Chris Tierney scored for the Sharks (35-30-8) as Antti Niemi made 32 saves.

The Senators scored four unanswered goals in the third period -- two within 1:12 of each other -- on their way to picking up a seventh straight win.

Zibanejad tied the game 2-2 with his second of the night at 2:19 of the third to the delight of the 18,193 on hand.

After being stonewalled on numerous occasions Chiasson finally solved Niemi as he deflected Mark Stone's shot and then Pageau scored at the 13-minute mark of the third as he and Karlsson worked the give-and-go.

Hoffman then put the puck away into an empty net for his 26th goal of the season with 1:23 left to play.

"The rush was certainly something that caused us a lot of headaches (Monday)," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan. …

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