What was shaping up as a horrific road trip for the Ottawa Senators ended on a satisfying note – although they had to do it the hard way.
Alex Kovalev and Daniel Alfredsson scored in the shootout and the Senators ended a four-game losing streak Sunday with a 4-3 win over the Anaheim Ducks at the Honda Center.
The Senators led three different times in regulation, though never for more than 50 seconds as the Ducks repeatedly answered in rapid fashion. Jarkko Ruutu, Jason Spezza and Filip Kuba provided leads that Ryan Getzlaf, Joffrey Lupul and Corey Perry quickly erased.
''I thought our guys showed a lot of resilience,'' Senators coach Cory Clouston said. ''All three times we scored, they scored the next shift. Sometimes that can be very deflating, but I liked our character.''
It was the first win in eight road games for Ottawa, dating back to an Oct. 28 victory in Florida. The Senators were 0-3-1 heading into the finale of their trip. It was also their first win over the Ducks since the 2007 Stanley Cup Final, which Anaheim won in five games.
In the shootout, Kovalev's tally was followed by one from Getzlaf to again draw Anaheim even. But after Alfredsson scored, Ottawa goalie Brian Elliott stopped Lupul to secure the victory and hand the Ducks their fifth straight loss.
"We had a good game and some good chances," Ducks goalie Jean-Sebastien Giguere said. "I like the fact that every time they scored, we stood up and answered back right away. There are more positives than negatives."
Kuba gave the Senators a 3-2 lead 1:04 into the third when Spezza passed from behind the net and the defenseman snapped a 35-foot shot past Giguere. Perry promptly tied the score at 1:54 with a backhander from the slot that grazed the jersey of Ottawa defenseman Anton Volchenkov and eluded Elliott's glove.
"It's desperation for us right now," Perry said of a Ducks team mired in last place in the Western Conference. "We're at the 30-game mark. We have to put something together and go on a run here or we're going to be out of it pretty soon. Everybody has to come together and be a team in here. That is how we have to play."
The teams combined for four goals in less than four minutes during the first period. Ruutu opened the scoring with 7:59 left, an unassisted tally after he intercepted a James Wisniewski pass from behind the net and stuffed the puck past Giguere. Getzlaf responded 15 seconds later when Elliott misplayed the carom off his dump in and the puck eluded his outstretched glove and trickled into the open net.
''It just hit one of the stanchions and went to the far side of the net, so I couldn't get it,'' Elliott said. ''Bad bounce, but what are you going to do? That is what you've got to tell yourself -- you are playing well, don't worry about that, we'll get it back and just keep going.''
Spezza netted just his third goal of the season on an Ottawa power play with 4:43 to play. Giguere stopped shots by Kovalev and Alfredsson before Spezza converted on a rebound. But 31 seconds later, Anaheim came back as Lupul beat Elliott to the glove side with a wrist shot from the left circle.
Despite grabbing just three of 10 available points on the trip, the Senators head home third in the Northeast Division and seventh in the Eastern Conference.
''This is an end to the first chapter of the year. We've got this long road trip over with and now we are going back home,'' Elliott said. ''We are going to be playing a lot of games every other night now, so it's going to be another big test. But getting a win tonight was big for us.''
Material from wire services and team online media was used in this report.
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