Craig Anderson makes 32 saves as Senators win 4-3 over Jets
Ottawa Senators' Milan Michalek, left, celebrates a first period goal with teammate Cory Conacher against the Winnipeg Jets' during NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (Sean Kilpatrick / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Thursday, January 2, 2014 10:35PM EST
OTTAWA -- Mika Zibanejad had a goal and an assist Thursday and Clarke MacArthur scored the winning goal midway through the third period as the Ottawa Senators beat the visiting Winnipeg Jets 4-3 on Thursday.
Kyle Turris stole the puck and fed MacArthur who then scored and helped the Senators win for the third straight time. They had not won back-to-back games in nearly seven weeks prior to the second win of their current streak.
Milan Michalek and Zack Smith also scored for the Senators (18-18-7), who have four wins in their past five games.
Dustin Byfuglien, Evander Kane and Olli Jokinen scored for the Jets (19-19-5) while Al Montoya made 25 saves.
Seconds after Smith gave the Senators a 3-2 lead on a deflection off a Marc Methot point shot at 6:42 of the third period, Craig Anderson maintained it with a glove save off Mark Scheifele who was alone in the slot to collect a rebound.
Anderson can include that among his 32 saves in the game, but he would also be the first to give thanks to his goalposts who were there to bail him out three times, including once earlier in the third period when the game was still tied.
After MacArthur gave the Senators a 4-2 lead, Jokinen made the home crowd nervous by pulling the Jets to within a goal with a little more than five minutes to play.
The Jets entered the third period tied 2-2 thanks in part to the fact that they had help on both their goals from their opposition.
Kane tied the game in the second minute of the second period from behind the net after he banked a shot off the back of Anderson and in. Seconds earlier Anderson had made a save on streaking Jets defenceman Jacob Trouba but was unable to get back into position in time to prevent the goal.
Byfuglien scored the Jets' first goal and that one tied the game 1-1 at 15:37 of the first when his shot was redirected past Anderson by Senators defenceman Joe Corvo.
Slightly more than two minutes before that goal, Zibanejad had opened the scoring when he picked up a rebound off a Corvo shot and beat Montoya. Conacher actually got to the loose puck before Zibanejad but was only able to push the puck forward slightly.
Both Zibanejad and Conacher were in on the go-ahead goal by Michalek in the final minute of the first period. Conacher sent a pass to Zibanejad who took a shot from the right faceoff circle. Montoya made a pad save but the puck went right to Michalek in the slot and then to the back of the net.
NOTES: Scratches for the Senators Thursday were defencemen Eric Gryba and Patrick Wiercioch along with forward Chris Neil. For the Jets defenceman Adam Pardy and forward Eric O'Dell were the scratchesaSenators goaltender Craig Anderson posted a 6-1-2 record in December with a 2.60 goals-against-average and a 9.21 save percentage. His 68 wins are four behind Ron Tugnutt for second all-time with the SenatorsaOttawa captain Jason Spezza missed his third straight game with a lower body injuryaHeading into Thursday's game, Winnipeg defenceman Dustin Byfuglien led all NHL defencemen in shots on goal with 140aWinnipeg captain Andrew Ladd is tied for the NHL lead with six shootout goals this season.