"(The shootout) is a fun thing to do," said Karlsson, the only
player to find mesh in a 2-1 victory for the Ottawa Senators over
the New Jersey Devils at Canadian Tire Centre that took four rounds
of the tiebreaking skills contest to settle. "It feels like we've
been pretty successful with it. It was nice to score.
"We play this sport to win games even though we haven't done it on a
regular basis this year. That's what we're going to keep playing for
no matter where we are in the standings."
Both the Devils and Senators were playing their first game since
officially being eliminated from the playoffs. The reason New Jersey
fell short is pretty clear. The Devils are now 0-12 in shootouts,
having scored a total of just three goals. They are 0-for-17 in
shootouts in the past 13 months, going back to last season.
"We have to work on it," said Devils winger Jaromir Jagr, who was
stopped in the shootout and on an overtime breakaway by Senators
goalie Robin Lehner. "It's frustrating, no question about it.
(Shootouts) probably cost us a playoff (spot)."
The result extended the Senators' winning streak at three games and
improved their shootout record to 6-7. The Devils are now 4-1-4 in
their last nine games and sit 28th in league offense with just 192
goals through 80 games.
"Every game we get so many chances, we just cannot score," said
Jagr. "Goalies are too good or we are not good enough."
Both goalies were very good on this night. While Lehner made 38
saves through 65 minutes, Devils goalie Cory Schneider was also
brilliant, stopping 31 Senators shots. Ottawa winger Mike Hoffman
and New Jersey winger Michael Ryder accounted for the
regulation-time scoring with second-period goals.
Lehner kept the game tied when he stoned Devils winger Patrik Elias
with a right-pad save about eight minutes from the third-period
buzzer. He made an even bigger glove stop off Devils defenseman Adam
Larsson with less than 10 seconds to go in regulation.
"I had to make a few saves but I think for the most part we kept
them to the outside and (teammates) helped me see the puck," said
Lehner. "It was good we got the win."
The Senators lost center Mika Zibanejad in the third period to an
injury that saw the 20-year-old taken to the hospital for what coach
Paul MacLean said was "precautionary reasons."
"That's all I know," said MacLean.
Hoffman put the Senators on the board first when he took a pass from
Zibanejad and whipped a shot past Schneider at 11:20 of the middle
period. It was Hoffman's third goal of the season.
The Devils tied the scored just over six minutes later when Ryder
notched his 18th from a goalmouth scramble.
Senators winger Ales Hemsky had a chance to break the ice when he
was awarded a penalty shot after being hooked by Devils defenseman
Marek Zidlicky at 10:48 of the second period. Schneider was able to
get enough of Hemsky's low attempt to steer it wide.
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Devils coach Peter DeBoer said he was proud of his team's effort,
considering the circumstances.
New Jersey didn't get its first shot on goal until the 8:17 mark of
the opening period. Schneider kept his team in the game through the
slow start, making big stops off Senators wingers Clarke MacArthur
and Mark Stone.
"I liked our game," said DeBoer. "You could see the first 10 minutes
we were a little bit out of it. Getting eliminated (Wednesday)
night, there was a little bit of a hangover. But I thought we
started to get into the game, started to move, and I thought we
carried the play. Again, we should have had more than one goal.
"The game was well played by us," added DeBoer. "We had every reason
not to show up here, just mail it in. I knew they wouldn't and they
Senators center Jason Spezza echoed similar sentiments in the home
team's dressing room.
"Guys are very professional and I think guys understand what is at
stake," said the Ottawa captain. "Guys understand that we're
expected to battle and win every night. Just because we're
mathematically eliminated doesn't mean we're going to let up. It's
obviously a good sign we're continuing to win games and continuing
to go at teams. We've got two more and, hopefully, we can continue
NOTES: Devils G Martin Brodeur served as the backup Thursday and
said he hadn't been told if he would get another start this season.
After the morning skate, Brodeur again hinted that his career in New
Jersey is likely over, but that he wants to look at options to play
elsewhere. ... Hours before scoring the game's first goal, Senators
W Mike Hoffman was named to the left winger on the American Hockey
League's first team all-star team. ... Devils W Jaromir Jagr, 42,
wants to play next season. "I don't know where I'm going to play,"
he said. ... Senators G Robin Lehner will not necessarily jump at
the chance to play for Sweden at the world championships in Belarus.
"I think the thing that's tough, it's (spending) about a month
there," Lehner said after the morning skate. "There are so many
Swedish goalies, I don't know if I'm in the mix or not. I haven't
heard anything, and when I hear something I've got to make a
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