Alex Kovalev reached a major milestone on Saturday night, and helped his team pick up a victory in the process.
After going 16 games without a goal, Kovalev scored three times -- including the 400th of his career -- as the Ottawa Senators earned a 4-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Scotiabank Place.
With the score tied 2-2 late in the third, Kovalev took a shot on an Ottawa power play that deflected off the skate of Hurricanes defenseman Jay Harrison and past Manny Legace for No. 400. Kovalev added an empty-net goal in the final minute.
''It's always great to pass that point,'' said Kovalev, the 82nd player in NHL history to reach 400 goals. ''I know it's been 14 or 15 (games since he's scored) or something like that, so I could have done that early but now I can forget about it.''
Kovalev also scored the game's first goal, which came 7:48 into the opening period. With the teams at even strength, Kovalev redirected Nick Foligno's feed past Legace to end his long scoring drought.
Ray Whitney scored a pair of goals in the second period for Carolina, which has won only once on the road all season. Whitney's first of the night came just 29 seconds into the period via the power play. Jason Spezza put Ottawa back in front on a man advantage with just his fourth goal of the season at 10:06, but Whitney tied the game again when he collected Eric Staal's rebound and poked it past Elliott for his 10th goal of the season.
"The puck just kind of squeaked between (Elliott's) arm and lucky enough I got it before it went in and then we get the goal by (Kovalev)," said Spezza, who now has three goals in nine games after scoring just once in his first 20 games. "When things are going good it happens that way and when things are going bad that one trickles in and we don't get score the goal."
The Hurricanes had collected five points in their previous four games heading into Ottawa, and coach Paul Maurice was hoping to keep that roll going.
''We need to win some games, so to be that close to it is frustrating,'' Maurice said. ''We've been playing good for about three weeks to a month now and we've had a lot of these nights. A little understaffed, a little undermanned and we're running some kids a little hard. They're playing, but you've got to get that puck across the line.''
Material from wire services was used in this report.
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