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Capitals blow lead, fall late at Ottawa
OTTAWA — Before Sergei Gonchar scored the game-winner for the Senators, Ottawa’s fourth line of Jim O’Brien, Mika Zibanejad and Erik Condra provided the spark for a comeback against the Capitals.
Gonchar scored on the power play with 2:30 remaining in regulation in Ottawa’s 3-2 victory over Washington on Tuesday.
Zibanejad, who was recalled from the American Hockey League on Monday, was named the game’s first star. When asked if he had earned the right to play Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens, MacLean quipped: “We usually play the first star.”
“I was hoping I would play good,” he said. “I was nervous in the first period, but then I got that out of the way and started playing like I should and felt pretty good.”
“It’s a tough one because when you play a really good hockey game you obviously want the win,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said. “When you have a 2-0 lead it should be enough in this league.”
Gonchar’s winner came after Erik Karlsson wove through the Capitals‘ defense on a man advantage before finding his partner, who fired a one-timer that deflected of Hendricks in front and past Neuvirth with Ottawa’s Chris Neil screening on the play.
Then with time winding down and Washington pressing for the tie, Anderson made a great save on Alex Ovechkin before robbing Mike Ribeiro from in tight.
“My job is just to make sure it doesn’t get to three,” Anderson said.
“It happened very quick,” Neuvirth said. “They won the faceoff and he just hit it. I’m not even really sure. I need to see the video.”
Playing without Jason Spezza because of an undisclosed upper body injury, the Senators struggled and the Capitals owned the first period.
Washington then made it 2-0 as Hendricks tipped Jay Beagle’s shot home.
The Senators continued to struggle in the second and seemed incapable of breaking through the Capitals‘ forecheck as Washington pinned the home side in its own end for nearly two minutes, leading to a chorus of boos from the 19,267 on hand at Scotiabank Place.
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