CALGARY, AB -- The Ottawa Senators winning streak came to a halt on Thursday when the boys from the nation's capital dropped a 5-3 decision to the Vancouver Canucks at Rogers Arena.
Prior to their stop in British Columbia, the Senators had strung together four straight victories and had managed to pull themselves within striking distance of the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold the second wildcard spot in the East.
It was a weak third period that sunk Ottawa in Vancouver, allowing three goals in the final frame.
"We had the lead going into the third and we just came out flat," goalie Craig Anderson told OttawaSenators.com after the loss. "They took momentum, and that was the night. We couldn't get the momentum back in the third and weren't able to generate much."
Like the Flames, the Senators are trying to make up ground in the Eastern Conference postseason race. As of Friday afternoon, they sit eight points out of a playoff spot in the Atlantic Division and are four points out of a wildcard position.
They have gone 6-4-0 in their last 10 games, outscoring their opponents 33-24. That solid stretch came right after losing 7-2 to the Edmonton Oilers in their own barn. The defeat triggered something in the club and they have been playing much better since then.
"We were embarrassed in our own building and we weren't happy about it," Anderson said of Ottawa's loss to the Oilers on Feb. 4. "I think after that game we really had to look at ourselves and change a couple of things and make sure we were on the right page moving forward."
The Senators have also be able to make hay outside of their conference. They have a 12-8-1 record against Western Conference clubs and have gone 7-5-0 when facing off against Pacific Division squads. Their most recent win in the West came on Tuesday when they picked up a 4-1 win over the Oilers in Edmonton.
While the majority of their offence has come from forwards, the Ottawa blueline has chipped in their fair share of points thanks to captain Erik Karlsson. The Swede leads his team in scoring with 11 goals and 65 points.
The addition of former Flame Dion Phaneuf has been a boon for the back-end as well. In eight games with his new team, Phaneuf has six points.
"It added a real good, NHL proven defenceman so the execution is better, leadership's better ... and we're spending less time in our own end because of that so our team is better," head coach Dave Cameron told OttawaSenators.com of the Phaneuf acquisition.
This is the second and final game between the two teams this year. Ottawa escaped with a 5-4 shootout win over the Flames back in October, with Mika Zibanejad scoring the game-winner.
Kyle Turris, Bobby Ryan, Zack Smith, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored for the Senators in regulation while the Flames received goals from Dougie Hamilton, Joe Colborne, Kris Russell, and Sam Bennett.
BREAKING DOWN THE SENATORS
Power Play: 17.7 percent overall (34 goals scored in 192 chances with the man advantage), 22.8 percent on the road (21 goals scored in 92 chances with the man advantage)
Penalty Kill: 74.6 percent overall (50 goals allowed in 197 times being short-handed), 73 percent on the road (27 goals allowed in 100 times being short-handed)
2015-16 Record vs. the Flames: 1-0-0
2014-15 Record vs. the Flames: 1-0-1
Notable Injuries: Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion)
Who's HOT: Mark Stone
The Senators winger has three goals, including a short-handed marker in Vancouver, and four points in his last four games. He has 10 shots on net in that stretch and has played over 20:00 in three of those four contests.
Stone, who was a Calder Trophy finalist last season, is third in team scoring with 20 goals and 46 points in 60 outings.
Honourable Mention: Jean-Gabriel Pageau
Just call him the set-up man.
Pageau, 23, has five assists in his last four games and picked up two apples in Vancouver on Thursday night. He also was a plus-one and had three shots on net in that loss to the Canucks earlier this week.
Who's NOT: Kyle Turris
It's been a tough couple of months for Kyle Turris. The 2007 third-overall pick has just two assists in 2016 and has no points since Jan. 9 when he picked up a helper against the Boston Bruins. In his last three games, the forward has no shots on net and has seen his ice time dip below the 15:00 mark in two of those contests.