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Zaitsev scores game-winner as Sens beat Jets

by Matt Tidcombe @matttidcombe

The Ottawa Senators left it late as they beat the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 at Canadian Tire Centre Monday night.

Nikita Zaitsev scored the game-winning goal while Connor Brown also scored as Filip Gustavsson made 28 saves for the Sens (20-27-5). Josh Morrissey had Winnipeg's (27-21-3) lone goal while Laurent Brossoit made 16 saves.

"It feels great," Gustavsson said. "You have those games when you're in the moment and you have great timing and you're set and ready for the shots ... and I had that feeling today."

Brown had the lone goal of the first period at 11:31 as he scored on a short-handed partial breakaway to bury his 18th of the season and fourth shorty of the year after Nick Paul set him up.

"I had some legs and felt good and had some jump," Brown said. "It was nice to bury one."

The Sens survived the second period in large part due to Gustavsson who made 17 saves in the period while killing off three penalties. The Jets came close through Morrissey but Gustavsson got across to deny him with the right pad while late in the period a deflection out front hit the crossbar as the Sens took a 1-0 lead into the second intermission.

With Josh Brown and Mathieu Perreault each in the box for offsetting roughing minors, it would be Morrissey who would finally beat Gustavsson as with 10:14 to play in the third, the d-man's wrister from the slot just squeezed through the Swedish goaltender despite getting a piece of it with his blocker as the puck trickled over the goal line behind him.

But the Sens would find the game-winning goal and it came from Zaitsev with just 1:13 to play as he wired a slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle for his third goal of the year and only his fourth as a Senator.

"It's unbelievable actually," Zaitsev said whose two previous goals this year have both been into an empty-net. "I forget that feeling to score on a goalie."

The Sens were a perfect 6-for-6 on the penalty kill tonight with Gustavsson making 13 saves while down a man.

"I think Gus was our best penalty killer," Brown said. "He made some huge saves. We did our part but they had some good looks and Gus was there every single time.

"I think we all know that he kept us in this one. He played phenomenal."

Thomas Chabot left the game in the first period with an upper-body injury after a collision with Logan Stanley and did not return.

The Sens are back in action Wednesday when they host Montreal.

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