Wild snap Senators' four-game win streak, hold on for 4-2 victory

OTTAWA — Call it a missed opportunity.

The Ottawa Senators had the chance to sweep their five-game homestand, but instead fell 4-2 to the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night.

Trailing 3-2 late in the game, the Senators (4-3-0) couldn't capitalize on a late power play as pulling the goalie for an extra attacker failed to give them the advantage they were hoping for.

“We get eight points out of 10, but I just think we let one slip a little bit here tonight,” said Ottawa coach D.J. Smith. “Take nothing away from them, but you know you’d like to get a point. You’ve got your six best guys out there at the end and if we find a way to score there, you’re in overtime and maybe you steal one.”

Alex DeBrincat and Thomas Chabot each scored for the Senators. Anton Forsberg, who had missed Monday’s game with an undisclosed ailment, stopped 36 shots.

Coming into Thursday’s game, Ottawa had outscored its opponents 22-11 during its four-game winning streak.

Frederick Gaudreau scored his first of the season into an empty net to secure the victory for the Wild. Ryan Hartman’s first of the year in the second period proved to be the winner. Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov also scored for Minnesota (3-3-1).

Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves in the victory.

“I really liked the way that all four lines contributed in their own way, but yet they all contributed in the same way as far as doing the right things, getting pucks deep, staying on the right side, not allowing odd man rushes,” said Wild coach Dean Evason. “I don’t remember an odd man rush tonight. We were committed to doing the right things, and we did.”

Ottawa found success early in the third when it made the most of a two-man advantage. Just over four minutes into the period, DeBrincat found a wide-open Chabot for his second goal in as many games.

The Wild dominated the second period.

Minnesota controlled play for much of the period, outshooting the Senators 17-8. Hartman scored his first of the season to make it a 3-1 game 4:25 into the frame.

“They came out hard,” said Forsberg. “We know how they play. They play hard and spend a lot of time in our zone and throw a lot of pucks at the net.

"I didn’t think I did quite a good job myself to have those rebounds, there was a bit too many for me I think. I want to hold on to those to give the guys a break so I’m not really happy with that.”

Fleury made key stops when Ottawa did have chances, including three huge saves late in the period with the Senators on the power play.

“He’s done it for 20 years now, so it’s not surprising,” said Zuccarello. “I played a lot against him through the years. He’s been unbelievable for us.”

DeBrincat opened the scoring 3:47 into the first, beating Fleury glove side. The Wild answered scoring twice to finish the period leading 2-1.

With Forsberg screened, Zuccarello had a clear lane for his fifth of the season 7:53 into the frame. Kaprizov gave the Wild the lead with 1:36 left in the period, tipping Jared Spurgeon’s point shot.

Fleury preserved the lead with a glove save on DeBrincat with 17 seconds remaining in the period.

The two had been teammates in Chicago last season. The mutual respect between the two made the save that much better for Fleury.

“Yeah, he got that first one, I owed him,” said Fleury. “Sometimes it’s worse when it’s guys that you played with, right? You kind of know their tendencies, but they know that you know.

"So, they switch it up or whatever. I just tried to react and stay patient. But he’s obviously a very talented player.”

DeBrincat could only look up in disbelief after Fleury made the save, but in many ways wasn’t totally surprised.

“Like I said, he never gives up on the play,” DeBrincat said. “I’ve definitely seen that a couple times. I thought I had him beat and he was there to stop it, so you know, sometimes you’ve got to tip your cap and he made a good save there.”

INTERESTING FACT OR STAT

Ottawa's Shane Pinto has goals in his last five games and is tied with captain Brady Tkachuk for the team lead in scoring.

NOTES: The Senators signed forward Mark Kastelic to a two-year contract, which has an average annual value of US$835,000. Ottawa goalie Cam Talbot, who is dealing with a rib injury, took shots in practice on Thursday. Minnesota’s Tyson Jost was a healthy scratch for the first time this season. He has one assist in six games.

UP NEXT

The Senators head to Florida to face the Panthers Saturday night. Minnesota heads to Detroit where they will take on the Red Wings Saturday night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 27, 2022.

Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press