OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators have the New Jersey Devils' number in the shootout this season.
The Senators beat the Devils 3-2 on Monday night at Scotiabank Place, giving them back-to-back shootout wins against New Jersey. Mika Zibanejad went high on Martin Brodeur for his first career NHL shootout goal and Daniel Alfredsson, after being held scoreless in his first six attempts this season, had his first shootout goal in the win.
"It wasn't the prettiest win, but we'll take it," Sens defenseman Chris Phillips said.
The victory now gives Ottawa (18-9-6) at least one point in eight out of its past nine games.
Brodeur made 12 stops in regulation, while Ben Bishop made 32 saves for the Sens. It was the 14th consecutive game where the Devils (15-11-7) outshot their opponent. Bishop is now 4-0 in the shootout this season.
The Sens' goaltender was rendered speechless for a moment as he tried to think of a reason for his success.
"No, [I can't attribute it to anything]," Bishop said. "Right now, it helps for me to stay patient and it helps when the guys score [in the shootout.] I was a little mad at myself for allowing [Travis Zajac] to score when we had a chance to win it. But when we went to the fourth round, I definitely knew we'd score."
Phillips and Colin Greening scored for Ottawa, while Andrei Loktionov and Marek Zidlicky had the goals for New Jersey.
"A tough, but good point," Brodeur said. "We worked really hard; we deserved a lot better. They won the skills competition against us. Two games in a row. [Ottawa] is well coached. They're not a team that's going to take a lot of gambles. Their [defense] isn't trying to activate all the time – when [Erik] Karlsson does it, he's great. But these guys aren't trying to take his place. They're doing their job."
Ottawa struck early in the first, when Mike Lundin passed across the blue line to Phillips, who sent a rocket past the stick side of Brodeur for his fifth of the season at 2:12.
The Sens nearly made the score 2-0 at 11:26, when Jakob Silfverberg fed a cross-ice pass to a wide open Kyle Turris, who was streaking down the left side. Turris' snap shot hit the post on Brodeur's glove side. The puck bounced back, hit Brodeur and hit the same post again. The flurry caused New Jersey coach Pete DeBoer to call a timeout to regroup his squad.
"Our coach wanted to change how we forechecked in the neutral zone," Brodeur said. "That made a big difference. We were able to get them to turn the puck over a lot and stay in a lot of puck possession time in their zone."
The Devils would get a quality opportunity in the opening minutes of the second period. Adam Henrique came down the right wing on an odd-man rush and shot a wrister on the Ottawa net. Bishop made the pad save, but the rebound went to Loktionov, who shot and hit the crossbar.
After dominating the Sens through the majority of the period, Loktionov would capitalize for the Devils, tying the game 1-1. After regaining control of his rebound, Steve Bernier passed the puck across the goal mouth to a wide-open Loktionov. Bishop was caught far out of position, allowing the Devils' center to put the puck high into the Sens' net at 4:47.
But the Sens weren't finished. With 16.9 seconds left, Turris' wrist shot from the high slot was initially saved by Brodeur. Greening was skating to the net, scooped up the rebound and put it five-hole for his fifth of the season.
"Ottawa's a tough team to play against," DeBoer said. "You have to give them credit; they're finding ways to win games. I liked our game tonight. I think if you throw that game out there nine out of 10 nights, I think we'll win."
The Devils responded early in the third when they caught the Senators on a line change. David Dziurzynski was unable to catch Zidlicky, who skated across the zone and sent a wrist shot past Bishop at 6:05.
New Jersey's Bryce Salvador (lower body) and Stephen Gionta (upper body) both left at the end of the first period and did not return. There was no update on the status of either player.
With 1:22 left in the third, Erik Condra to a puck to the mouth and immediately left the ice. After repairs, Condra returned to the bench before the end of the shootout.
With only 14 shots on goal, the game on Monday marked the lowest shooting total for the Sens this season.
"The whole team played too much time in their own end," Sens coach Paul MacLean said. "New Jersey was the better team. We bent but we didn't break."