03:23 1st
17:29 1st
10:00 PM ET

32 SOG
30 SOG

Senators clinch playoff berth by routing Isles 5-1

NHL.com | Sunday, 04.01.2012 / 5:52 PM

Add the Ottawa Senators onto the list of teams that have clinched a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The Senators became the sixth Eastern Conference team to assure itself of a trip to the postseason by routing the New York Islanders 5-1 at the Nassau Coliseum on Sunday.

Midseason acquisition Kyle Turris scored Ottawa's first and last goals and added two assists as the Senators rolled despite the absence of top-line forwards Daniel Alfredsson (illness) and Jason Spezza (birth of child). Craig Anderson stopped 29 of 30 shots for his fourth straight win.

"We knew we were missing two key guys but we played a very solid and focused team game," said Senators coach Paul MacLean, who reached the postseason in his first season as a bench boss. "The leadership on our team did a tremendous job all season to pull us up by our bootstraps and create a winning foundation."

No one was happier than Turris, whose arrival from Phoenix at midseason has given the Senators more depth down the middle. He stepped into Spezza's spot and meshed perfectly with Milan Michalek, who had a goal and two assists.

"What a great feeling this is, to know we are in the playoffs," said the 22-year-old Turris, the third player taken in the 2007 NHL Draft. "It was fun skating on a line with Milan tonight and doing so well. Definitely, this is a satisfying night for me."

Ottawa is seventh in the East with 92 points, four behind sixth-place New Jersey and four in front of eighth-place Washington. The Senators have won four in a row and are back in the playoffs after finishing 13th in the East.

The Islanders, who were officially eliminated from the playoff race on Saturday, fell to 14th in the East with 77 points. They have not made the playoffs since 2007.

"There was no urgency in our game tonight," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.

The Islanders actually scored first when John Tavares' passout hit Mark Streit and went into the net at 7:55 of the opening period. Turris, acquired from Phoenix earlier in the season, tied it at 16:40 when he deked his way around goaltender Al Montoya and wristed the puck into the wide-open net.

Michalek set up Sergei Gonchar's go-ahead power-play goal 3:09 into the second, then scored his career-high 35th when he beat Montoya at the six-minute mark with a backhander that went into the net off Isles center Marty Reasoner.

"Tonight was another example of how well we can play as a team," said Michalek, who hadn't scored more than 26 goals in a season before this season. "We gave up the first goal but came back and took control of the game."

Nick Foligno made it 4-1 at 13:21 when he poked in a rebound, and Turris' power-play goal seven minutes into the third period wrapped up the scoring.

The Senators missed the playoffs last season and haven't advanced past the first round since they reached the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, losing to Anaheim in five games.

"We're going in the right direction, coming together at the right time and playing hard as a team," said defenseman Chris Phillips, who made his debut with the Senators in 1997. "We had a lot to prove this year and we've done well with that so far. Now we look to the playoffs."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
Scoring Summary
1st Period
07:55NYI Mark Streit (7) Snap shot - ASST: John Tavares (47), Matt Moulson (33) 1 - 0 NYI
16:40OTT Kyle Turris (11) Wrist shot - ASST: Milan Michalek (24), Sergei Gonchar (32) 1 - 1 Tie
2nd Period
03:09OTT PPG - Sergei Gonchar (5) Snap shot - ASST: Milan Michalek (25), Kyle Turris (15) 2 - 1 OTT
06:00OTT Milan Michalek (35) Backhand shot - ASST: Kyle Turris (16), Bobby Butler (10) 3 - 1 OTT
13:21OTT Nick Foligno (15) Wrist shot - ASST: Jesse Winchester (6), Colin Greening (19) 4 - 1 OTT
3rd Period
07:00OTT PPG - Kyle Turris (12) Wrist shot - ASST: Chris Neil (15), Nick Foligno (31) 5 - 1 OTT
Three Stars of the Game
Kyle Turris
G: 2Shots: 8
A: 2Hits: 1
PTS: 4PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 15:45
Milan Michalek
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 2Hits: 0
PTS: 3PIM: 2
+/-: 2TOI: 17:26
Sergei Gonchar
G: 1Shots: 1
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 2
+/-: 1TOI: 22:50
Penalty Summary
1st Period
02:10OTT Jared Cowen  Illegal Check To Head against  Nino Niederreiter
08:26NYI Micheal Haley  Fighting (maj) against  Chris Neil
08:26OTT Chris Neil  Fighting (maj) against  Micheal Haley
09:32OTT Milan Michalek  Holding against  Andrew MacDonald
2nd Period
01:50NYI John Tavares  Hooking against  Colin Greening
19:14NYI Josh Bailey  Slashing against  Kaspars Daugavins
3rd Period
05:13NYI Micheal Haley  Roughing against  Chris Neil
17:24OTT Sergei Gonchar  Interference against  Michael Grabner
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays2/30/3
Faceoff Wins3422
Blocked Shots1122
Penalty Minutes1111
2J. CowenD0010217:06
4C. PhillipsD0011020:16
7K. TurrisC2218015:45
9M. MichalekL1223217:26
14C. GreeningL0111013:54
15Z. SmithC0000012:49
16B. ButlerR0113012:04
17F. KubaD0000020:40
18J. WinchesterC0113015:54
22E. CondraR0000016:47
23K. DaugavinsL0000015:41
25C. NeilR0100512:41
36R. KlinkhammerC0001011:38
42J. O'BrienC0002014:53
55S. GoncharD1111222:50
65E. KarlssonD0003023:05
71N. FolignoL1104013:51
97M. GilroyD0012016:40
41C. Anderson2930.96760:00
2M. StreitD1004022:01
3T. HamonicD00-16021:21
4M. EatonD00-11017:54
12J. BaileyL00-21215:22
15P. ParenteauR0001016:40
16M. ReasonerC00-11013:39
17M. MartinL0001014:19
18M. HaleyC0003713:02
21K. OkposoR00-10014:31
24S. StaiosD00-10017:13
25N. NiederreiterR00-10012:48
26M. MoulsonL0102016:27
27M. JurcinaD0003018:08
29J. PandolfoL0001012:48
40M. GrabnerR0003013:21
47A. MacDonaldD00-12020:18
51F. NielsenC00-11017:06
91J. TavaresC0100217:56
35A. Montoya2732.84460:00