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game recap

Senators use strong start to top Coyotes, end skid at six

Score twice in first period, Hogberg makes 32 saves

by Callum Fraser / Independent Correspondent

Hogberg's three big saves

ARI@OTT: Hogberg shuts down Schmaltz in front

Marcus Hogberg turns away Nick Schmaltz's big opportunity in front of the net, and keeps the door closed on his two rebound attempts

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OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators got their first win in seven games when they defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday.

"I think we just had everyone going," Senators forward Nick Paul said. "First period was really good, second we knew they were going to push. [Marcus Hogberg] made some unbelievable saves, kept us in it. And we just kept playing the game we've been trying to play; we're playing hard, we've been winning our battles, we're blocking shots, and we've just got to keep doing it."

Paul, Vladislav Namestnikov and Brady Tkachuk scored for the Senators (19-27-11), who were 0-4-2 in their previous six. Hogberg made 32 saves; he was 0-3-2 in his previous five.


[WATCH: All Coyotes vs. Senators highlights]


"These are [Stanley Cup] Playoff games for us. They're free playoff games," Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. "You've got teams that are scratching and clawing to be in the playoffs, and they're going to play hard every night. For our young team, we're going to have to be ready."

Video: ARI@OTT: Namestnikov scores on dump and chase

Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Jordan Oesterle scored, and Antti Raanta made 28 saves for Arizona (28-24-8), which is 2-6-3 in its past 11. The Coyotes hold the second wild card into the playoffs from the Western Conference.

"[We were] obviously not ready to go. My fault," Coyotes coach Rick Tocchet said. "I thought the game plan was there. Ottawa likes throwing pucks at the net and we just didn't box out."

Namestnikov scored off a centering pass from Drake Batherson to give the Senators a 1-0 lead at 2:50 of the first period.

Tkachuk tipped a point shot from Thomas Chabot to make it 2-0 at 6:41.

"We obviously talked about it before the game, how we've got to outwork these guys, because we have been in that position too," Ekman-Larsson said. "They want to come in and work hard, and that's when you have to outwork them, and we didn't do that in the first period."

Ekman-Larsson's point shot went in off Namestnikov's stick to cut it to 2-1 on the power play at 16:40 of the second period.

Paul's wrist shot from the top of the right circle nicked Raanta's right shoulder and made it 3-1 at 6:50 of the third period.

Oesterle beat Hogberg five-hole with a wrist shot to cut it to 3-2 at 9:01.

"There should be no excuses out there, right?" Coyotes forward Lawson Crouse said. "We're coming down the final stretch where every point's a big point. We just didn't have [urgency] from the drop of the puck. That's on us."

Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki left at 8:59 of the third period with a lower-body injury. Smith said Borowiecki is "going to be out some time" but that the injury is not nearly as severe as originally thought.

Video: ARI@OTT: Tkachuk tips home Chabot's point blast


They said it

"We can't look too far ahead. We've got to look at the next one here on Saturday. It starts on Saturday. We've got to put some wins together at home and play better and go from there." -- Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson

"I thought Drake was really, really good tonight. I thought he skated really well. He came out and he had a look to him, like he was ready to play. And I thought he was. He was one of our best players." -- Senators coach D.J. Smith on forward Drake Batherson, who had an assist, five shots and four hits in 16:15 of ice time


Need to know

Schmaltz set an NHL career high with his 32nd assist. … Senators forward Anthony Duclair has not scored a goal in 19 games (Dec. 21). He had one shot and played 11:55.


What's next

Coyotes: Host the Washington Capitals on Saturday (10 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-A, FS-A PLUS, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Senators: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CBC, SNO, SNP, SNW, NHL.TV)

Video: Senators end skid with 3-2 win against Coyotes

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