The Ottawa Senators put the memories of their recent 7 game losing streak in the rear view mirror on Wednesday, as they notched their 4th straight win and created a gap between themselves and their chasers at the same time.
Erik Karlsson (1G, 2A) set a franchise record for assists by a defenseman (47), breaking Norm Maciver‘s 20 year old record. He also reached the 60 point plateau and is three behind Maciver’s club record for points.
Also, with 2 goals Milan Michalek set a personal best with his 27th of the season. Chris Phillips also scored, his 4th goal in the last 6 games after going scoreless for 55 games earlier this season. Nick Foligno added his first goal in 19 games into an empty net to seal the 5-2 victory.
The Capitals made it a game early in the third, after falling behind 4-0 through 2 periods and switching goaltenders, replacing Tomas Vokoun with Michal Neuvirth.
The Senators have 2 days off before a huge showdown with Boston on Saturday, the first of 2 meetings with the Bruins in 3 days. Ottawa sits 2 points behind the Bruins, but Boston does have 4 games in hand. However, if the Sens can sweep the home and home (with a visit from the Islanders in between) they would put pressure on the defending champs.
As for Washington, playing without Alex Ovechkin and Nick Backstrom doesn’t agree with them, as for 40 minutes they played uninspired hockey, and their 4th line was their best on the night. With a pair of goals in the first half on the third period, they did create an uneasy feeling among Sens fans, but Foligno’s goal with just over a minute left allowed them to breathe again.
With the loss, the Capitals remain in 10th place in the East, trailing 8th place Toronto and 9th place Winnipeg by 2 points, and also stay 2 points behind Florida for 1st in the Southeast, which might be their best opportunity to sneak into the playoffs now.