Gaudette scores shootout winner, Senators beat Canucks 4-3
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Adam Gaudette scored the shootout winner in the fifth round and the Ottawa Senators beat the Canucks 4-3 on Tuesday night, snapping Vancouver’s six-game win streak.
“That felt good. It’s been a long time coming,” Gaudette said. “It was a good game overall, played hard, matched their energy in a must-win for them and it was a good night.”
The Canucks took a 2-0 lead in the first period but stumbled through the second and third before dropping their first game since April 3.
Alex Formenton had a pair of goals in regulation for the Senators. Parker Kelly also scored and Nikita Zaitsev had two assists.
“We knew it was going to be kind of a playoff style game,” Formenton said. “They’re hungry for those points and they need it so they came out strong and it was a good back and forth game.”
J.T. Miller and Brock Boeser each had a goal and an assist for Vancouver, and Travis Dermott scored his first goal for the Canucks.
Ottawa’s Filip Gustavsson stopped 34 of 37 shots for his first win since Nov. 13.
Vancouver’s Jaroslav Halak stopped all 14 shots he faced in the first period, but appeared to suffer an injury late in the frame and was replaced by Thatcher Demko to start the second. Demko made 15 saves in relief.
The loss hurt Vancouver’s fragile hopes of a securing a playoff spot. The Canucks are four points behind the Dallas Stars, who hold the second Western Conference wild-card spot.
Taking a single point on Tuesday hasn’t changed anything for the Canucks, head coach Bruce Boudreau said.
“We were going to be allowed one mulligan somewhere along the road,” he said, noting that his team has responded well to adversity in the past.
“That’s the kind of mentality we need. This is a group that’s fought for four-and-a-half months, almost five months now. And they’re not going to quit now.”
Drake Batherson also scored for the Sens in the shootout and Miller beat Gustavsson for the Canucks.
Vancouver dominated overtime, not allowing Ottawa a shot.
Both teams were playing the second game of a back-to-back, with Ottawa having dropped a 4-2 decision to the Seattle Kraken on Monday.
“We just played with way more emotion (against Vancouver),” Senators head coach D.J. Smith said. “We didn’t have any legs last night for whatever reason, and we just weren’t able to do it right.
“Outside of killing as many penalties as we did, five on five we had way better legs today.”
Demko denied Formenton a hat trick midway through the third, stretching out his left leg to make a last-second skate save on a shot from in tight.
Vancouver tied the score at 3-all moments earlier when Boeser sent a pass to Dermott from behind the net and the defenseman fired in a shot from the top of the crease.
The goal marked Dermott’s first point in a Canucks jersey, coming in his 13th game with the team. The Toronto Maple Leafs dealt the blueliner to Vancouver for a third-round draft pick at the trade deadline in March.
The Senators took the lead 3:49 into the third when Formenton collected a loose puck along the boards and sprinted in for a breakaway, sending a wrist shot into the top corner to make it 3-2.
Kelly scored the tying goal 2:17 into the period with a shot from the hash marks that hit the crossbar and bounced off Demko’s back.
Vancouver outshot the Ottawa 16-8 in the second period, but it was the Senators who found the back of the net.
Tim Stutzle fired a shot from inside the blue line and Nikita Zaitsev tipped it from the high slot before Formenton directed it in past Demko, cutting the Sens’ deficit to a goal at the 4:04 mark.
Demko led his team onto the ice for the second period and took over in Vancouver’s net.
Defenseman Brad Hunt helped boost Vancouver’s lead to 2-0 midway through the first. Stationed below the goal line, he dished a pass to Boeser, who sent a one-timer past Gustavsson for his 21st goal of the year.
Vancouver opened the scoring on an early power play after Dylan Gambrell was sent to the box for tripping.
The Canucks were quick to capitalize, with Miller sending a blast past Gustavsson from the top of the faceoff circle 1:55 into the game.
The goal — coming on Vancouver’s first shot of the game — was Miller’s 30th of the season.
NOTES: Miller joined Bo Horvat as the only Canucks to hit the 30-goal mark this year. It’s the first time since 2010-11 that Vancouver has had more than one player reach the milestone. … Defenseman Travis Hamonic played against the Canucks for the first time since Vancouver dealt him to Ottawa for a third-round draft pick at the trade deadline in March. … Vancouver defenseman Quinn Hughes played his 200th regular-season NHL game.
Senators: At Columbus on Friday night.
Canucks: At Minnesota on Thursday night.
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