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Senators continue playoff push versus Islanders
(Sports Network) - The Senators suffered the kind of lapse on Saturday that could have completely derailed their season. Instead, they dug in and gutted out a victory that moved them closer to a playoff spot.
Ottawa looks to take another step towards the postseason today and keep its faint hopes at a division title alive as it visits the New York Islanders.
The Senators were in Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon and jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period on goals by Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Chris Neil. Craig Anderson stopped all 15 shots faced in that opening frame, but was beaten three times in the second period on 14 shots as the Flyers battled back to tie the game.
Ottawa, though, was able to slow Philadelphia's momentum and got shootout goals from Spezza and Milan Michalek to grab a much-needed 4-3 win.
"I thought it was a real good game," Senators head coach Paul MacLean said. "Obviously the first period was ours, the second period was theirs, and I thought the third period was played evenly. Both teams had a couple of opportunities, but it was a totally different game in the third than in the first two periods, I thought."
The victory kept the seventh-place Senators two points clear of the Capitals in the Eastern Conference with four games to play and moved them four points ahead of the ninth-place Sabres. Ottawa also trails sixth-seeded New Jersey by six points and has a game in hand over all three teams.
Set to wrap a three-game road trip, the Senators are also six points behind the Bruins for first place in the Northeast Division. Boston also has four games left and is visiting the Rangers Sunday tonight.
Ottawa dropped a 2-1 overtime decision at home to the New York Islanders back on Feb. 3, but has outscored them 11-2 in back-to-back victories since. The Senators rolled to a 6-0 victory at Long Island on Feb. 20, getting two goals and four points from defenseman Erik Karlsson and a 28-save shutout by Anderson.
Karlsson had an assist in the win over the Flyers and his 77 points on the season by far lead all NHL defensemen.
The Islanders play host to the Senators today after suffering a 6-3 loss to the Bruins on Saturday, one that officially eliminated the club from the playoff race. New York had won three straight and five of six coming in.
P.A. Parenteau had two goals and Kyle Okposo scored in his fifth straight game in defeat.
"It's tough, you never want to be eliminated for good. We'll turn the page here and try to finish strong in the last four games and see what happens," Parenteau said.
Al Montoya allowed six goals -- four in the third period -- on 27 shots in defeat.
New York wraps a three-game homestand this afternoon.
04/01 09:21:03 ET
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