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Tatar scores in OT, Red Wings defeat Senators

by Chris Stevenson

OTTAWA -- The Detroit Red Wings found some needed offense in a 4-3 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday.

Tomas Tatar scored at 2:04 of overtime after a Senators turnover in the neutral zone to give the Red Wings (9-8-1) the victory. He broke in and beat Senators goaltender Craig Anderson to the stick side.

The Red Wings, who had 2-0 and 3-1 leads in the game, had been held to two goals or fewer in each of their past six games. They had not scored more than two since a 5-3 win against the Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Oct. 31.

"It should be easier than this," Tatar said. "We can't let it happen to let them come back and almost lose the two points."

Dylan Larkin, Gustav Nyquist and Riley Sheahan scored in regulation for the Red Wings, who had lost two in a row.

Detroit had 37 shots on Anderson; it was the second time the Red Wings had more than 30 this season, each against the Senators.

"It was great to see," said Howard, who made 22 saves. "It's been a while; I think that's the second time this year we've gotten 30 shots on net. It was a great effort. That was the design in practice yesterday, was to get a lot of pucks on net. Petr [Mrazek] and I saw a lot of rubber in practice. It was good to see it transition over into the game tonight."

With the Detroit defensemen pushing to join the attack -- Mike Green had two assists, and Danny DeKeyser had one -- the Red Wings put the pressure on the Senators, who are allowing the most shots per game in the NHL (34.7).

Mike Hoffman, on the power play, rookie defenseman Chris Wideman and Bobby Ryan scored for Ottawa (8-5-5), which lost for the fourth time in its past five games (1-1-3).

Anderson made 33 saves for the Senators, who are 3-4-3 at Canadian Tire Centre and have had six of their 10 home games go to extra time.

They continue to battle stretches of inconsistency from game to game and shift to shift.

"Our main concern tonight was a lack of physicality," Senators coach Dave Cameron said. "Everything we did was skill-based. For our team to be successful, sometimes you've got to bring the game into the trenches. You've got to block shots, you've got to win your battles on the wall. We're trying to do it stick-checking and finessing it in. That don't work in this league."

Ryan tied the game with 2:48 left in the third period on a nice individual effort. He shifted the puck under Green's stick to cut across the goal and put the puck around Howard.

"They had more pace than us and they had more urgency early," Ryan said. "I thought we recognized it and we came back to fight, but why it's not in the first 10 minutes of every game I couldn't tell you."

Wideman cut the Red Wings lead to 3-2 at 3:13 of the third when his shot from the right point found its way through a crowd in front of Howard.

Sheahan put the Red Wings ahead 3-1 at 16:24 of the second.

Larkin, who had scored a nice wraparound goal against Ottawa on Oct. 31 by going around defenseman Erik Karlsson and beating Anderson to the far post, opened the scoring by victimizing the same two Senators again.

Larkin avoided Karlsson's attempted hip check, cut to the net and scored on a shot off Anderson on the short side at 9:12.

Nyquist finished off a nice sequence of four passes by Detroit to make it 2-0 at 11:01.

Green jumped up to earn an assist on the goal, and that's something Detroit coach Jeff Blashill has been looking for from his mobile group of defensemen.

"It's something we emphasized at the start of camp and re-emphasized the week leading into our last series with these guys," he said. "I just think it puts teams on their heels a little bit. I also think it plays to the skill set of our D. We've got a D that when they are gapped up tight are really good, we've got a D that when they are on the attack are really good, so we've got to continue to do that."

Tatar welcomes the offensive push from the Red Wings defense.

"They're supporting us really well," he said. "This is kind of our new system. They join the rushes, and that's helping the offense, for sure. Guys are doing great."

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