Senators hope to rebound, snap skid to Avalanche
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators will try to recover from a heart- breaking loss by snapping a long losing streak to Colorado as they play host to the Avalanche on Sunday evening.
The Senators led the Montreal Canadiens by three goals with under four minutes to play on Saturday, but saw the Habs score three times in the final 3:22 of regulation. That included a game-tying goal by David Desharnais with just 0.3 ticks left on the clock.
Montreal then won it 5-4 in overtime as Francis Bouillon potted a goal 1:26 into the bonus frame.
On the game-winner, Max Pacioretty fired a shot from low in the right circle. Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner made the save and felt the puck was covered up. However, the referee didn't blow the play dead and Pacioretty dislodged the puck and Bouillon put it into the open net.
Despite not getting the favorable whistle in overtime, the Senators know it was their play late in the third period that led to the setback.
"The final 3 1/2 minutes we tightened up, panicked. We didn't get over their red line," Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean said.
Lehner stopped 43 shots for the Senators, who had the tables turned after erasing a 3-0 third-period deficit to Nashville on Monday before losing in overtime.
Ottawa, though, has still lost six of its past eight and is six points back of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Jason Spezza and Clarke MacArthur both had a goal and an assist on Saturday, with Spezza having amassed four goals and 16 points over his last 10 games. Ales Hemsky added his first tally in four games since being acquired from the Edmonton Oilers and he also has six assists since the trade.
The Senators will try to rebound by beating the Avalanche for the first time since Dec. 12, 2005 in Colorado. They have lost six in a row in this series since and were bested 7-1 in the most recent encounter in Ottawa on Oct. 13, 2011.
Colorado, which has won three in a row in Ottawa, notched a 4-3 overtime victory against the visiting Senators on Jan. 8. Paul Stastny scored the tying goal with 2:20 left in the third period and assisted on Tyson Barrie's game- winner 33 seconds into overtime.
Gabriel Landeskog collected three assists for the Avs, while Spezza, MacArthur and Kyle Turris scored for the Senators.
Stastny is doubtful for this game as he has been out since March 8 due to back spasms.
Colorado sits second overall in the Central Division with 91 points, one up on the Chicago Blackhawks and eight back of the first-place St. Louis Blues.
The Avs had won two straight and six of seven going into Friday night's encounter with the Anaheim Ducks. They lost a wild 6-4 game as the clubs combined to score nine goals in the second period. However, only three of those were potted by Colorado.
Jamie McGinn supplied two goals, while John Mitchell and Landeskog also scored. Mitchell had signed a three-year extension before the game worth $5.4 million.
Ryan O'Reilly added two helpers for the Avalanche.
"I have never seen a period like that. We were not supporting each other and our play did not just work out. There was a lot of intensity out there," said Landeskog about the frantic second period.
Semyon Varlamov allowed five goals and Jean-Sebastian Giguere entered the game in the second to turn aside 8-of-9 shots in relief.
03/16 10:25:53 ET