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game recap

Jets fall to Senators for seventh loss in row, lose ground in North

Gustavsson makes 28 saves, Zaitsev breaks tie with 1:13 remaining for Ottawa

by Callum Fraser / Independent Correspondent

Zaitsev's late go-ahead snipe

WPG@OTT: Zaitsev rifles home go-ahead goal in 3rd

Nikita Zaitsev skates in and rips a wrist shot past Laurent Brossoit, giving the Senators a 2-1 lead late in the 3rd period

  • 01:01 •

OTTAWA -- The Winnipeg Jets lost their seventh straight game, 2-1 to the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Monday.

Nikita Zaitsev gave Ottawa a 2-1 lead with a slap shot from the right point through traffic with 1:13 remaining in the third period. It was his third goal of the season but first against a goalie.

"It's unbelievable, actually. I forgot that feeling, to score on a goalie," Zaitsev said.

Josh Morrissey scored for the Jets with a wrist shot from the slot to tie the game 1-1 at 9:46 of the third.

"That's how it's going for us right now," Winnipeg captain Blake Wheeler said. "I think they only had a couple even-strength scoring chances all game, and we lose the game. It's kind of hard to describe."

Video: WPG@OTT: Morrissey beats Gustavsson to tie game

The Jets (27-21-3) are tied for third place in the seven-team Scotia North Division with the Montreal Canadiens, who defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 in overtime Monday. The top four teams will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs; Toronto and the Edmonton Oilers have clinched.

Connor Brown had a goal and an assist for the Senators (20-27-5), who have been eliminated from playoff contention but are 6-1-1 in their past eight games. Filip Gustavsson made 28 saves.

"That's the best goaltending display that we've seen," Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. "And to be honest, we made some mistakes in front of him, and it's probably a couple games now … he's been making incredible stops. It's good to see."

Smith said of Zaitsev, "It's great to see him get rewarded. I don't think enough people talk about how hard he is to play against and how little room you have and how hard it is to get to the net. He doesn't provide a ton of offense because he spends the entire game trying to shut you down, and I would say most teams don't like playing against him."

Laurent Brossoit made 16 saves for Winnipeg, which has scored 10 goals during its losing streak.

"We've lost seven in a row. That's just a fact," Jets coach Paul Maurice said. "What we're talking about here is not letting that become the story in the room and being able to keep your head composed and being able to come out and fight your way out of it. There are fans that love this team, and if you lose seven in a row, they're not going to be very happy with that, and why would you? I can tell you that nobody here is happy with that."

Brown took a pass from Nick Paul and scored on a shorthanded breakaway to give Ottawa a 1-0 lead at 11:31 of the first period.

"We're looking for each other, we're talking," Brown said of his chemistry with Paul on the penalty kill. "The biggest thing is just talking to each other so you know if you can hang on to it and you don't make any panic plays. If you don't hear anything, it's got to go 200 feet, but if you hear each other, we're trying to share it and attack up ice."

Video: WPG@OTT: Brown rips puck home while shorthanded

Brown has scored four shorthanded goals this season, tied for first in the NHL with Brad Marchand of the Boston Bruins and Cam Atkinson of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Senators went 6-for-6 on the penalty kill.

Morrissey had an NHL career-high nine shots on goal in 24:27.

"Production from him is going to be huge for us," Wheeler said. "He had a great hockey game tonight. He could've won the game by himself, he had so many opportunities, just making really good plays, jumping into the play at the right time."

Ottawa defenseman Thomas Chabot left the game at 9:50 of the first period with an upper-body injury. He took a hit from Winnipeg defenseman Logan Stanley and skated off favoring his left shoulder. Smith did not have an update.

Video: Zaitsev's late goal helps Senators top Jets

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