NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Washington
(Tuesday, March 30th)
Final Score: Ottawa 5, Washington 4 (OT)
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Kovalev's power play goal with 18.9 seconds left in overtime lifted the Ottawa Senators to a 5-4 victory over the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.
Washington's Nicklas Backstrom was sent off for tripping with 32.7 seconds left in the extra session, setting up Ottawa's game-winning goal. Erik Karlsson sent a perfect slap-pass to Kovalev down low, and Kovalev deftly redirected the puck into the top portion of the net to help the Senators post their fifth consecutive win.
It was Kovalev's first point since February 14, snapping a 12-game pointless streak in the process.
Jason Spezza notched two goals and two assists for his second four-point game of the season, and Ottawa solidified its playoff position in the Eastern Conference. The Senators stand in fifth place with 89 points, five behind New Jersey for fourth and seven ahead of Philadelphia, Montreal and Boston for sixth. The Senators need only one more point in their final five games to clinch a playoff berth.
"For confidence-wise, it's nice to see (Kovalev) score. He played a good game...He was strong on the puck, and it was nice to see him get that goal," said Sens head coach Cory Clouston. "In order for us to have any success in the playoffs, (the Spezza line) is going to have to be our best (line)."
Brian Elliott made 17 stops in the win to improve to 4-0-0 lifetime against the Capitals and help the Sens snap a seven-game losing streak as the road team in this series.
Alexander Semin scored twice for Washington, which lost its third straight and squandered a chance to match a franchise record with its 50th win. The Capitals, who have already locked up the East's top seed, are six points ahead of San Jose in the chase for the Presidents' Trophy.
Jose Theodore allowed all five goals on 31 shots but is still a remarkable 17-0-3 in his last 21 games.
Ottawa jumped out to a 3-1 lead after one period.
Peter Regin put the Senators ahead just 84 seconds into the contest on a backhanded shot following a rebound in the right circle. Semin quickly tied the game at the 3:01 mark while on the power play with a wrister from the right side that eluded Elliott.
Ottawa skated with the man advantage 45 seconds later, and Spezza redirected a Matt Cullen shot from the center point at 4:31 to put the Sens back ahead. With 3:54 remaining in the frame, Chris Campoli trailed an odd-man rush, took a pass from Daniel Alfredsson and fired a shot from the slot that trickled through Theodore's legs and into the net for a 3-1 advantage.
"I think it was more to their playing good defensively than us playing bad offensively in the first period," said Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau. "They blocked an awful lot of shots tonight and protected their goalie well, especially in the first period."
Washington then scored the next three goals to take the lead.
Alexander Ovechkin skated near the right boards in the Sens' zone and dished to Semin, who eluded Elliott's poke check attempt and lifted a backhanded shot above the netminder 12:04 into the second period. Just 54 seconds later, a Mike Green one-timer from the top of the left circle tied the game.
Just 24 seconds into the third, Mathieu Perreault took a feed from Eric Fehr right in front of the net and put a backhanded shot into the top right-hand corner of the net for a 4-3 lead.
Spezza, though, answered for Ottawa to tie the game with a power play tally, banking the puck off Washington defenseman Jeff Schultz and into the net from a sharp angle with 14:47 still remaining.
Ottawa won the season series, 3-1...Alfredsson extended his point streak to eight games with three assists. Karlsson also had three helpers for Ottawa...Elliott is 18-6-0 in his last 26 outings...Washington's power play, ranking first in the league at 25.8 efficiency entering the game, went 1-for-5 Tuesday and is 1-for-13 overall against Ottawa this season...Semin notched his 11th multi-goal game of the season...The Sens improved to a sterling 13-2-3 when tied after two periods...Ottawa would also clinch a playoff berth if both Atlanta and the New York Rangers suffer another loss before the season's end.
03/31 00:51:27 ET