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Hall strikes early in OT to deliver Oilers’ victory

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 5:15 AM

KANATA, Ont. – For this year's Hockey Day in Canada, Taylor Hall decided that it was time for a little payback.

Hall scored 17 seconds into overtime as the Edmonton Oilers beat the Ottawa Senators 4-3 in overtime on Saturday afternoon at Scotiabank Place.

"They gave us a pretty good beating earlier (winning 5-2 on Nov. 17) and last year on Hockey Day in Canada, so we wanted to get them back, and I think we did that," Hall said.

Shawn Horcoff and Magnus Paajarvi each had a goal and an assist, while Ben Eager also added a goal for the Oilers. Daniel Alfredsson, Milan Michalek and Erik Karlsson scored for the Senators.
Edmonton has now won twice on the road in its past 16 contests away from Rexall Place (also had a 4-3 victory against Chicago on Jan. 2).

Craig Anderson, who returned between the pipes after Alex Auld started for Thursday against Nashville (a game the Sens went on to win 4-3), stopped 36 of 40, and sees his winless streak extend to eight games. Nikolai Khabibulin made 39 saves, ending his nine-game losing streak.
Anderson blamed himself for the loss, insisting that his puck control has to improve.

"I gotta be better on my rebound control – that's the bottom line," he said. "I can't leave my d-men hanging there, leaving that garbage around the net. That's on me.
"The first shot, I didn't pick up cleanly, they got a second chance, I made that save and then right to Hall for the third chance. You can't give these guys two or three opportunities. You're asking for it."
Ottawa led off the scoring in the first, after Khabibulin made a pad save on Jason Spezza. The puck cleared to Erik Karlsson, who faked a shot then slid it across to Alfredsson. The captain then one-timed the puck from the top of the slot, through the five-hole of the Oilers' goaltender at 4:36.  It was the first point in five games for Karlsson, and his first assist in seven. The 21-year-old still leads all defensemen with 42 assists and 50 points.

Edmonton's best chance early in the second came on the power play, when Jordan Eberle swept in low and tried to go top shelf, only to be robbed by Anderson at 3:02.

The Oilers would eventually capitalize, knotting the score 1-1 when Ales Hemsky's rebound was picked up by Paajarvi and snapped a quick shot past Anderson for his first of the season at 14:05.

Paajarvi, who has played 35 games with the Oilers this season, was thrilled to get his first goal of the year.

"I think (my) expression said it all," he said. "I'm kind of relieved. Now I know what it feels like. You've got to stick to details, not get down too deep and keep working.  Great shot by (Hemsky) to get me open."

Ottawa responded at 16:23 when Spezza dished off to Michalek, who split the defense and deked out Khabibulin, making the score 2-1. It was Michalek's first goal in 13 games, and Spezza's second assist of the afternoon.
Edmonton tied the game again late in the second when Eager skated down the left wing and sent a wrister through Anderson's legs at 18:52, breaking an eight-game pointless streak.
The Oilers would take the lead 42 seconds into the third period, when Paajarvi dished off to Horcoff, who found room in the slot area and beat Anderson with a high wrister. Hemsky also had an assist on the goal – his second of the afternoon.

Ottawa would respond in kind, when Karlsson's rebound in the high slot eventually popped back out to him, and the defenseman wristed it past Khabibulin’s stick side at 9:30 to tie the score at three.
Edmonton, coming off a 4-2 loss to Detroit on Wednesday, took the days prior to playing Ottawa as a chance to regroup.

"We had some time to think about the mistakes we made on the first few games of this road trip," Hall said. "Tonight was a good night for us. We knew Ottawa was going to come out strong and we kind of weathered the storm, got our bearings and just went from there."

For the Senators, it's back to the drawing board as they head out on a three game road trip, beginning in Tampa Bay on Tuesday. Ottawa currently sits seventh in the East and is 3-6-2 in its last 11 games.
"We had the lead, but couldn't keep the lead to bring the game home," Sens coach Paul MacLean said. "The opportunity was there to win it, so we have to make sure we stay focused and continue to work at our game."

Chris Phillips, who played in his 1,000th career game on Thursday, was celebrated prior to this afternoon's game. All Ottawa players wore Phillips' No.  4 on their jerseys during warmup, and the defenseman received a silver stick and painting from Ottawa owner Eugene Melnyk.

"It was great; it's a lot of fun to have your family out there and the fans cheering your name. It just topped off the last few days, for sure," Phillips said.
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