OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Brady Tkachuk snapped a 15-game scoring drought with a pair of goals, leading the Ottawa Senators to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
Alex Formenton and Chris Tierney also scored, and Tim Stutzle chipped in with two assists for Ottawa. Anton Forsberg stopped 42 shots.
“(Our goaltenders) have been our best players throughout this stretch of hockey and they keep us in games every night,” Tkachuk said. “They make those timely saves and like I said, they’ve been our best players.”
Andrei Svechnikov, Brendan Smith and Vincent Trocheck scored for the Hurricanes. Antti Raanta faced 31 shots.
The game was the second of a back-to-back for both teams. The Senators were coming off a 4-1 win over New Jersey. Carolina fell 4-3 in overtime to Toronto.
“It almost looked like we didn’t expect to be up 4-0 and a didn’t know what to do with it,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. “We were kind of waiting for their push. We’ve got to learn to just keep doing what we’re doing, don’t play the score.”
Trailing 4-0 to start the third the Hurricanes rallied and made it a one-goal game, but couldn’t get the equalizer.
“I thought the fact that we were down 4-0 going into the third, it would be easy just to roll over,” Hurricanes head coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “But that’s not how these guys operate. Really, a pretty good second half of the game. We just gave them too much obviously at the start.”
Svechnikov got things started early in the period as he dug out a loose puck in front for his 17th of the season.
Smith cut the lead in half at the 13-minute mark as he fired a shot from just inside the blue line and, with 1:12 left, Trocheck made it a one-goal game by beating Forsberg with a high shot.
The Senators extended their lead in the second period to make it 4-0.
Tkachuk scored his second of the game as he buried the rebound of a shot by Stutzle just 40 seconds into the period on the power play.
“It was getting frustrating (not scoring), but I think for those types of things, you’ve just got to work through it, extra work, do what you can and there was plenty of chances throughout that whole drought there,” Tkachuk said. “That first one wouldn’t happen if it wasn’t for (Gaudette) going to the net there and kind of creating chaos.”
Tierney, who hadn’t scored since the start of November, made it 4-0 as he forced a turnover and fired a wrist shot past Raanta.
“It felt good,” said Tierney. “When you’re in a drought, it’s a relief to score so you know it’s frustrating when you get chances and they’re not going in so it was nice to finally get one.”
Carolina had a number of good chances, but Forsberg was solid throughout.
The Senators got off to a fortuitous start as Tkachuk, in the corner, looked to put the puck out front and it bounced in off Carolina’s Sebastian Aho to open the scoring in the opening minutes of the game.
Ottawa made it 2-0 midway through the period as Connor Brown made a nice backhand pass to Formenton in front for his 10th of the season. Four of Formenton’s 10 goals are against Carolina.
The Hurricanes nearly cut the lead in half with a buzzer beater, but upon review time had expired.
NOTES: With the win, the Senators took the season series with a 2-0-1 record.
Hurricanes: At Boston Bruins on Thursday.
Senators: Host Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday in third game of a four-game homestand.
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