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game recap

Senators defeat Jets, but out of playoff race

Ottawa eliminated from contention by Philadelphia victory

by Patrick Williams / Correspondent

WINNIPEG -- The Ottawa Senators did their part to remain alive for a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 2-1 win against the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Wednesday, but were eliminated afterward.

The Philadelphia Flyers' 2-1 shootout win against the Washington Capitals, which ended about an hour after Ottawa's victory, knocked the Senators (35-33-9) out of playoff contention.

It means there will not be a team from Canada in the playoffs for the third time (1969-70 was the latest).

"Everything considered, I think it was probably the type of game you thought it was going to be with teams [nearing elimination or eliminated]," Senators coach Dave Cameron said. "I think it was in spurts and a little bit sloppy at times. It's really a tough game to evaluate."

Video: OTT@WPG: Dzingel sets up Chiasson for go-ahead goal

Alex Chiasson broke a 1-1 tie with 11:09 to go in the third period. Ryan Dzingel grabbed Winnipeg defenseman Ben Chiarot's turnover behind the net and directed a pass to the slot that Chiasson one-timed past Winnipeg goaltender Michael Hutchinson for his eighth goal. The win started a stretch of three road games in four days; the Senators visit the Minnesota Wild on Thursday.

"It was kind of a lucky bounce there," Chiasson said. "If they were to make that play 10 times, they'd probably make it nine times (correctly)."

The win ended a three-game losing streak for the Senators (0-2-1), who had lost four of their past five. Zack Smith scored for Ottawa, and Andrew Hammond made 20 saves.

"We played the game the right way," Chiasson said. "We made better decisions. We've been talking about this for a long time now, how little things matter and how they carry throughout the game."

Video: OTT@WPG: Smith opens up the scoring early in the 1st

Senators right wing Mark Stone left the game with an upper-body injury after the second period following a hit by Jets defenseman Dustin Byfuglien (Stone returned to play one second-period shift). Cameron said Stone will remain in Winnipeg for evaluation and emphasized that the injury was not to Stone's head.

Mark Scheifele scored for Winnipeg (31-39-7), and Hutchinson made 17 saves. The Jets have lost three consecutive games (0-2-1) and have six wins in their past 22 home games (6-14-2).

"We're lacking a bit of the 60-minute drive, the execution with the puck, just some of the sharpness," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "I think we're dealing with some fatigue, mental and physical. It's not an excuse. It's a fact of what we're dealing with."

Video: OTT@WPG: Wheeler feeds Scheifele to tie the game

Hutchinson said, "It's frustrating to lose the game that late into it. [Dzingel] got a lucky break when he threw the puck out front. It was a little bit of a scramble. It's unfortunate that it happens, but we battled hard after that and tried to tie it up."

The Senators have allowed the first goal 49 times this season, but they took a 1-0 lead 3:16 into the game on Smith's 22nd goal. Stone located Smith with a right-side pass to the slot before Smith broke loose from Scheifele and flipped a shot past Hutchinson's right glove.

"I think as the season wears on, the way we play has been maybe a little mentally draining because we have given up the first goal so much," Hammond said. "When we do get that first one, I do think it gives us a little boost, but it's important to not let that faze us. [Wednesday] it was one of those things where we got that first goal, we had chances, and we kept coming and never really took our foot off the gas."

Video: OTT@WPG: Byfuglien knocks Stone down to the ice

Scheifele ended Hammond's bid for a second shutout in his past three starts with 13:05 left. Scheifele snapped a no-look pass from Blake Wheeler past Hammond for his 26th goal. Wheeler has a six-game point streak (two goals, five assists), and Scheifele has a five-game point streak (three goals, four assists).

"That was one of our best defensive efforts," Hammond said of the Senators, who allowed 19 shots, tying their second-fewest for a game. "The big thing that sticks out in my mind was the shot blocks at key times, whether it was on the penalty kill or at the end of the game (with Hutchinson pulled for a sixth skater). Those are huge plays, and we definitely need more of that."

Video: Chiasson scores go-ahead goal in 3rd to lift Senators

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