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Four-goal third period powers Senators past Coyotes

by Chris Stevenson /

OTTAWA -- Seven players scored for the Ottawa Senators, including four in a span of 5:26, in a 7-2 win against the Arizona Coyotes at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

The Senators (20-19-9) took a 3-1 lead on goals by Milan Michalek and Mark Stone off the rush two minutes apart late in the second period. They took a 5-1 lead with goals 20 seconds apart by Bobby Ryan and Jean-Gabriel Pageau early in the third.

Senators defenseman Marc Methot had a career-high three assists.

Seven goals are the most the Senators have scored in a game this season. They are nine points out of the second wild-card spot from the Eastern Conference into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"Flat out, we need points. Tonight’s something to build off of, but we can’t get too high about that. It’s realizing the good things we did, and we have to continue to do that," Senators defenseman Chris Phillips said.

Phillips played his 1,178th game for the Senators, tying former captain Daniel Alfredsson’s record.

"Other teams are fighting for playoff spots, or home ice," Phillips said. "Everybody’s got a reason to come out and play hard. You get towards the end of the season and the games just get harder and harder. We’ve got to keep raising our level to give ourselves a chance.”

After Pageau’s goal, Coyotes goaltender Louis Domingue, who was recalled from Portland of the American Hockey League before the game, replaced Mike Smith in net for his NHL debut.

Smith made 15 saves on 20 shots, and the Coyotes (17-26-6) lost for the eighth time in their past nine games.

Arizona coach Dave Tippett said he wasn’t happy with Smith’s performance and his players’ lack of discipline.

"You need your goaltender to clean up some stuff for you. There were lots of mistakes in front of him with young players in there, but you still need him to clean up some of that mess," Tippett said. “To come out and take a bunch of penalties in the first, it’s not a very good performance all the way around."

Domingue, 22, who was selected by the Coyotes in the fifth round (No. 138) of the 2010 NHL Draft, made nine saves and allowed goals to Senators captain Erik Karlsson and Mika Zibanejad.

Domingue, a Quebec native, is expected to start Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.

Zbynek Michalek and Sam Gagner scored for Arizona.

Michalek gave the Coyotes a 1-0 lead 40 seconds into the first period. Senators rookie Mike Hoffman tied the game at 1:09 with his 17th goal and is tied with Filip Forsberg of the Nashville Predators for the rookie lead.

The Coyotes took five straight penalties starting at 2:19 of the first period and killed each of them, including a 5-on-3 disadvantage that lasted 1:30.

"We started the game pretty well, but then we took so many penalties in the first and just completely gave the game away," Michalek said. "At the end it was embarrassing and that’s not how we want to play. It’s not how we want to be. We want to be a hard team to play against. I just was embarrassed and I think everybody should feel the same way. There’s no excuses."

Ottawa goaltender Robin Lehner, starting his second straight game after No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson sustained a hand injury, made 35 saves.

The victory ended a five-game losing streak for Lehner, who last won on Dec. 13.

Senators coach Dave Cameron said Anderson skated Saturday and could be available Tuesday when the Senators play the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center.

The Senators' scoring burst started when Milan Michalek’s snap shot found the top corner over Smith’s left shoulder at 16:51 of the second period for his seventh goal. He took a pass from center David Legwand, who was back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch the past two games.

Legwand replaced forward Alex Chiasson, who sustained an injury against the Dallas Stars on Thursday.

Mark Stone scored his 12th goal at 18:54 of the second assisted by Legwand and Methot. Legwand curled inside the Coyotes blue line and fed a pass to Methot. His shot was deflected by Stone.

Ryan scored from deep in the slot for his 14th goal at 1:57 of the third period, and Pageau scored his second on a backhand 20 seconds later.

After failing to score on those five first-period power plays, Cameron resorted to starting his fourth line of Pageau, Erik Condra and Chris Neil on the last two power plays of the period.

The Senators are 2-for-21 on the power play in their past six games.

"We were just God awful on the power play. I don’t know what to tell you about that. We get away from our script and just ad lib the whole time," Cameron said.

The game had two sets of brothers playing. Zbynek and Milan Michalek scored; Mark Stone's brother, Coyotes defenseman Mike Stone, was the only one to be shut out.

Zbynek Michalek said he believed it was the first time he and his brother scored in the same NHL game.

"That’s pretty neat, I think, pretty unique. I’m sure our parents were watching back home and they must be proud of us," he said. "That’s a good thing about this game, but otherwise, for us, it’s a game to forget about.

"We came in with this effort and this start and it’s unacceptable. I just hope tomorrow we come out with a better effort otherwise we’re going to get embarrassed again."

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