|Date of game: 3/23/2015
Recap: Ottawa vs. San Jose
Ottawa, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Ottawa is back in a playoff position for the first time since November 21.
The Senators scored four third-period goals to rally past the San Jose Sharks for a 5-2 victory on Monday night and leapfrog the Boston Bruins for the Eastern Conference's final wild-card spot.
Mika Zibanejad had two goals for Ottawa before leaving in the third period after taking a shot off his arm. The team said afterwards that Zibanejad is okay.
Mike Hoffman had a goal with two assists and Bobby Ryan collected three assists for the Senators, who have won seven games in a row.
"We're finally starting to go up a little bit but we have to keep it going," said Ryan. "There's still several games to go so we have to keep playing hard if we want to make the playoffs."
Andrew Hammond stopped 29 San Jose shots to improve to 14-0-1 this season. His streak of getting at least one point in the first 15 starts of his career is one shy of Patrick Lalime's NHL record established in the 1996-97 season.
Lalime had his own sensational debut with the Pittsburgh Penguins, going 14-0-2 to begin his career.
Joe Pavelski and Chris Tierney scored 30 seconds apart in the second period for San Jose, which has dropped four of five and fell to 1-3-0 on its seven- game road trip.
Antti Niemi made 32 saves for the Sharks.
"It's sure not about me, it's about the group and the team and I'm part of that," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan of the recent slide. "The coaching staff feels the pain just as the players do. We didn't take care of our own business."
Ottawa tied it at 2-2 early in the third. Battling in front of the net, Zibanejad lifted the stick of Tierney and scored his second goal at the 2:19 mark.
Alex Chiasson deflected a shot from Mark Stone past Niemi to give the Senators the lead at 12:11, then Jean-Gabriel Pageau buried a return feed from Erik Karlsson on a 3-on-1 rush to make it 4-2 at 13:23.
Hoffman added an empty-net goal with 1:23 remaining.
"It's nice to see that finally we're starting to grow up a little bit," Karlsson said. "We still got a long way to go to get to where we want to be."
Ottawa forward Kyle Turris, named the NHL's Second Star of the week on Monday after consecutive two-goal efforts, hit the post on a 2-on-1 eight minutes into the game.
The Senators took a 1-0 lead with 5:51 remaining in the first period. Hoffman whipped a backhander from above the right circle that went in off the knee of Zibanejad, who was cutting through the slot. The goal was upheld by a video review.
Pavelski scored a power-play goal at 12:47 of the second to draw San Jose even. He started the play by dishing to Brent Burns and then drove to the net, where he knocked in the rebound of Burns' shot while down on the ice.
Tierney gave the Sharks the lead at 13:17 when he skated on goal, collected a pass from Tommy Wingels on the rush and beat Hammond with a backhand shot.Game Notes
The Senators had lost four straight home games to the Sharks since a 9-3 rout
on Dec. 19, 2002 ... Ottawa forward Zack Smith was back in the lineup for the
first time since dislocating his wrist on Dec. 13 in Boston ... Forward Milan
Michalek sat out against San Jose with an upper-body injury suffered in
Saturday's win over Toronto ... Ryan surpassed 200 career assists... Sharks
defenseman Brenden Dillon played in his 200th career game.