EDMONTON – The Ottawa Senators’ post-Olympic hangover is finally over.
The Senators exploded for three goals in the third period and Ottawa ended a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday.
Chris Kelly, with a goal and an assist, Matt Cullen, Milan Michalek and Mike Fisher scored for the Senators (37-25-5), who won for the first time since the Olympic break, a skid that saw them score just three goals in three games.
“We got some goals in a flood at the end there and it was nice to get the run support,” said Ottawa goalie Brian Elliott. “We’ve lost a couple so a win like this lifts the spirits.”
Daniel Alfredsson, who added three assists, said it was nice to finally get back in the win column.
“We didn’t play well the first two games after the Olympics but we had a gutsy effort to build from in our last one with a bunch of guys sick,” he said. “That carried into tonight. I thought we played a strong game. The biggest thing was having a strong effort and getting the power play going in the third.”
Fernando Pisani responded for the Oilers (21-39-6), who saw a two-game winning streak come to an end and fell six points back of Toronto in last place in the NHL.
“Playing like that is what got us in trouble lots of other nights,” said Oilers head coach Pat Quinn. “We had a lot of turnovers and when you are a chaser you never establish the forecheck and spend lots of time in your own zone.
“When your forwards play the way ours did tonight it puts a lot of pressure on your goaltender and defence. We didn’t win any battles. It would be hard to give any one of our forwards a good grade tonight.”
The Senators, who outshot Edmonton 39-19, had the bulk of the opportunities early on, but Oilers goalie Jeff Deslauriers stood tall, including a two-man advantage when he made key stops on Alex Kovalev and Michalek.
Edmonton’s best chance of the first came with just over two minutes left as Brian Lee hauled down Mike Comrie. The Oilers forward was awarded a penalty shot but Elliott made the save to keep the game scoreless.
“I know Mike from being in Ottawa and he is a little trickster,” Elliott said. “He got a good shot but I got it with my stick.”
Ottawa looked to have broken the deadlock with just 45 seconds remaining in the period. Mike Fisher banked a shot off of the skate of defender Taylor Chorney, but Deslauriers dived across to smother the puck before it crossed the line.
The Oilers got on the board at 4:27 of the second as Elliott allowed a big rebound on an Aaron Johnson point shot and Pisani lifted the puck up and over the sprawling netminder for his third of the season.
The Senators finally got one past Deslauriers at 16:18 as Kelly took a bad angle shot that slipped between the pads and the goalpost to make it 1-1 after 40 minutes.
Ottawa took its first lead eight minutes into the third as Cullen blasted a shot from the point on the power play for this 14th of the season.
The Senators made it 3-1 less than two minutes later as Fisher was finally rewarded for his efforts on the night, stealing a puck in the Oilers zone and sliding it past Deslauriers.
Ottawa put the game away with at 13:09 as Michalek scored on a two-man advantage.
Both teams are back at it on Thursday. The Oilers start a three-game road trip in Montreal, while the Senators travel to Calgary.
Notes: It was the second and final meeting between the two teams this season. Ottawa won the previous game 4-3 in November and came into the game winners of five in a row over the Oilers. … Edmonton forward Patrick O’Sullivan left the game with a left hand injury in the first period and did not return. … The Senators, who have been badly hit by the flu bug of late, had Alfredsson and Peter Regin back in the lineup. … Ottawa forward Nick Foligno, who broke his right fibula at the beginning of February, is back skating and could rejoin the Sens later on their Western Canadian road trip. … Senators defenceman Filip Kuba (lower body) remains out and did not travel with the team. … Edmonton goalie Nikolai Khabibulin confirmed on Tuesday that he will not return this season following his back surgery but that his recovery process is going well.