OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators are putting a late run together to keep their faint Stanley Cup Playoffs hopes alive.
Milan Michalek scored twice in the first period and Jared Cowen gave the Ottawa Senators their third one-goal lead at 1:12 of the third in a 6-3 win against the Calgary Flames at Canadian Tire Centre on Sunday.
Ottawa center Mika Zibanejad took advantage of Calgary goalie Karri Ramo's turnover behind the net to set up Cowen, who scored his sixth goal from the slot to put the Senators ahead 4-3. Clarke MacArthur gave the Senators a two-goal lead at 12:22, and Kyle Turris scored his second of the game, his team-leading 25th, into an empty net with 1:21 remaining.
"It was a huge win for us tonight," said Michalek, whose goals put Ottawa up 1-0 and 2-1. "We came out really well in the first and we kind of let up in the second, and kind of let them back in the game, and we talked about it in the locker room after the second period, and in the third we came out strong and scored some big goals, so it's a big win for us."
Turris, who also had an assist, drew the Senators even at 3-3 with first goal of the game at 16:47 of the second period.
Ottawa has points in four straight games (3-0-1) following a 2-12-2 skid that sent them plummeting out of playoff contention. The Senators held a 15-6 advantage in shots in the third after being outshot 21-9 by Calgary in the second.
"The first and third I thought were very good; I didn't like the team that came out in the second but it's a 60-minute game and I thought the way we started the game was very good," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. "The way we finished it, obviously we were very pleased with how we played the third period giving up six shots and the way that we were able to put the game away was good."
Robin Lehner stopped 37 shots in his eighth start in nine games for the Senators, who are in 12th place in the Eastern Conference with 76 points.
Ottawa, which has eight games remaining, is six points out of a wild-card spot.
Lehner started over Craig Anderson, who made 46 saves Friday in a 5-3 win against the Chicago Blackhawks in his first game since he sustained an upper-body injury on Mar. 10.
"Robin, in the previous three games we played he had points in both of those games," MacLean said. "When Andy first got hurt, (Lehner) had some struggles, but I thought he really worked hard to get his game back to where he went into Tampa Bay and wins in a shootout, goes into Florida and plays again and gets another point for us, so three of the five points we got in the [previous] three games, Robin Lehner was responsible for them, or had a big part in them."
Matt Stajan scored his 12th goal to tie it at 1-1 in the first and Ramo made 31 saves for the Flames, who had won six of their previous nine games.
"We didn't skate [Saturday] and some guys didn't prepare the right way, it's as simple as this," Calgary coach Bob Hartley said.
Erik Karlsson got his 50th assist on Michalek's first goal, his 15th of the season, at 10:42 of the first.
Karlsson became the first NHL defenseman with at least 20 goals and 50 assists in the same season since Hall of Famer Brian Leetch had 21 goals and 58 assists for the New York Rangers in 2001-02.
After Stajan scored at 13:23, Michalek restored Ottawa's lead at 2-1 with his 16th goal, his second of the period, to finish off a dazzling setup by Jason Spezza at 19:23.
Byron tied it at 2-2 with his seventh goal at 3:59 of the second. Monahan came out of the right corner and fired a wrist shot over Lehner's left shoulder for his 20th goal at 7:05 to give the Flames a 3-2 lead.
The 19-year-old rookie scored his first goal in 12 games to reach the plateau.
"I think obviously that's a relief, but at the end of the day it's a tough loss and I don't think it's a game we can lose," Monahan said.
Ramo came way out of his net in the second to deny MacArthur a breakaway opportunity and the Calgary goalie sprawled to the ice to win a race to the puck.
Senators defenseman Chris Phillips returned after missing the previous two games because of an undisclosed injury. Rookie Cody Ceci was out of the lineup for the first time in 41 games since he was recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League, originally on an emergency basis.
Defenseman Ladislav Smid did not accompany the Flames to Ottawa because of a lower-body injury he sustained Friday during a 4-3 win against the New York Rangers.
|Milan Michalek (15) ASST: Erik Karlsson (50), Ales Hemsky (25)|
1 - 0 OTT
|Matt Stajan (12) ASST: Jiri Hudler (32), Curtis Glencross (11)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Milan Michalek (16) ASST: Jason Spezza (42), Ales Hemsky (26)|
2 - 1 OTT
|Paul Byron (7) ASST: Mikael Backlund (21), Mike Cammalleri (16)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Sean Monahan (20) ASST: Jiri Hudler (33), Joe Colborne (16)|
3 - 2 CGY
|Kyle Turris (24) ASST: Clarke MacArthur (30)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Jared Cowen (6) ASST: Mika Zibanejad (15)|
4 - 3 OTT
|Clarke MacArthur (24) ASST: Kyle Turris (30)|
5 - 3 OTT
|EN - Kyle Turris (25) ASST: NONE|
6 - 3 OTT
|Kevin Westgarth Slashing against Zack Smith|
|Chris Phillips Interference against Sean Monahan|
|Kevin Westgarth Fighting (maj) against Matt Kassian|
|Matt Kassian Fighting (maj) against Kevin Westgarth|
|Matt Kassian Instigator against Kevin Westgarth|
|Matt Kassian Misconduct (10 min) against Kevin Westgarth|
|Chris Neil Tripping against Joe Colborne|
|Sean Monahan Hooking against Mika Zibanejad|