The Ottawa Senators beat the Minnesota Wild 3-2 in regulation Thursday night, ending a six-game winning streak for the Wild. The Senators are 10-1-1 against Minnesota in their last 12 matchups.
Erik Karlsson struck first, scoring 3:44 into the first period. Zach Parise tied it halfway through with his team-leading 25th goal and sixth in the past four games. But Jean-Gabriel Pageau’s tally late in the period gave the Senators a 2-1 lead.
Erik Haula extended his point streak to a franchise-record-tying 10 consecutive games on a one-timer from Jason Pominville early in the third. But a fluky goal and Matt Dumba’s high-sticking penalty late in the third doomed the Wild.
“We’re not in any position to have any letdowns right now,” Pominville told the Pioneer Press. After setting up Haula’s third-period tying goal, he committed a center-ice turnover that led to Ottawa’s fluky game-winner off Haula’s leg with 3 minutes, 57 seconds left. “We can’t afford that. We’ve got to make a push and fight.”
The Wild thought they had a go-ahead goal on a late third period power play when Dumba scored, but the play was blown dead. The initial thought was that referee Tom Kowal lost sight of the puck, but Dumba said he was calling incidental contact on Nino Niederreiter, who appeared to be pushed into Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson.
“We should have had a go-ahead goal,” Parise told the Star Tribune.
Either way interim coach John Torchetti was not impressed with his team’s efforts Thursday night, save for what he saw from the Parise-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle line. With a win, Minnesota had a chance to go up seven points on the Colorado Avalanche and within two of the slumping Nashville Senators.
“We had a lot of guys that got to up their ante,” Torchetti told the Star Tribune. “There’s no nights off in this league. We’ve got to be ready to battle, and I didn’t like our battle level.”