Senators prevail in ‘biggest win of the year’

Rookie Mark Stone scored the game-winning shootout goal and Andrew Hammond stopped 16 shots as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Tuesday to remain in the hunt for a playoff spot.

DETROIT — Mark Stone and the Ottawa Senators found a way to keep pace in the playoff hunt.

Stone scored the final goal in a shootout, and the Senators beat the Detroit Red Wings 2-1 on Tuesday night.

Mika Zibanejad and Kyle Turris also had shootout goals for the Senators. Clarke MacArthur scored in the third period and Andrew Hammond, who missed the previous two games because of a lower-body injury, made 16 saves.

The victory kept the Senators three points behind Boston in the race for eighth place in the Eastern Conference. The Bruins beat Florida 3-2.

"It’s the biggest win of the year," Stone said. "Every game is the most important from here on out. … With Boston winning, we needed the two points."

The Red Wings’ lead on Boston for third place in the Atlantic Division is down to two points. The Bruins visit Joe Louis Arena on Thursday.

The win snapped Ottawa’s three-game skid. Detroit lost its second straight.

"We fell behind and we just stayed the course," said Senators coach Dave Cameron, whose team trailed late in the third period despite a large advantage in shots on goal.

Petr Mrazek stopped 33 shots for Detroit, which got a regulation and shootout goal from Gustav Nyquist. Tomas Tatar also scored in the shootout.

Nyquist opened the scoring early in the second when his wrist shot zipped past Hammond’s right side. MacArthur tied it with 4:02 left when his slap shot nicked Mrazek’s glove before going in.

The Senators outshot Detroit 25-11 in the first two periods but came up empty despite four power-play chances. Mrazek, making his third straight start since replacing Jimmy Howard in a March 26 loss to San Jose, said his penalty killers came up big.

"They’re doing a great job on the PK out there," he said. "They’re blocking so many shots and diving. It helps."

Detroit forward Drew Miller left early in the first period after being cut by Stone’s skate. The Red Wings said Miller sustained two deep lacerations near his right eye, but his vision wasn’t affected.

Coach Mike Babcock said Miller likely will have a "big-time scar" but should return Thursday.

The Red Wings also were missing centre Pavel Datsyuk, who was scratched because of a lower-body injury. He played in the previous two games after returning from a five-game absence.

Babcock said he expected to have several players, including Datsyuk, in the lineup before the game.

"We played three lines from the start and they played four just because we lost people," Babcock said. "I’m optimistic that by the time Boston gets to town we’ll have more hands on deck."

NOTES: Red Wings great Gordie Howe celebrated his 87th birthday. A message of thanks from the Hockey Hall of Famer was shown on the arena video board. … Ottawa forwards Milan Michalek (upper body), Chris Neil (broken thumb) and Matt Puempel (ankle) didn’t play. … Detroit forwards Erik Cole and Riley Sheahan were late scratches because of upper-body injuries.

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