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GARRIOCH: Adam Gaudette scores game-winning shootout goal as Senators eliminate Canucks


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SENATORS 4, CANUCKS 3 (SO)

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Tonight was all about redemption for the Ottawa Senators, and they played spoilers in the process.

The Senators earned a thrilling 4-3 shootout win as former Vancouver Canucks winger Adam Gaudette scored the winner in the skills contest – and Ottawa notched its 1,000th regular-season franchise win.

Alex Formenton led the charge with a two-goal effort while Parker Kelly also scored in regulation time. Filip Gustavsson was solid with 34 saves in 65 minutes, with Vancouver pushing hard for both points.

It was an outright victory for the Canucks. The club entered this game just four points behind the Los Angeles Kings for third place in the Pacific Division, but Vancouver has a game in hand.

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“It felt good. It was a long time coming,” said Gaudette, who beat Thatcher Demko in a shootout. “It was a good game and we were able to match their energy. to prove that I could be counted on in these situations.

After an ugly 4-2 loss to the Seattle Kraken on Monday night, the Senators were hoping to bounce back in this game against the Canucks and they delivered a solid effort in a game that meant so much to Vancouver.

The Senators battled from a 2-0 deficit in the first period to take a 3-2 lead in the third. Formenton’s second of the game at 3:49 over Thatcher Demko gave the club the lead while Kelly tied it at 2:17.

Travis Dermott tied it at 6:47 to send it OT. Both teams went nine minutes and eight seconds without a whistle to complete settlement.

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“It was a good game. The fans were outstanding,” coach DJ Smith said. we stayed with. It was a very good effort.

We will have to monitor the status of center Tim Stuetzle. Looked like he was physically targeted by the Canucks and took a couple hits in the second, including a big one from Dermott.

Stuetzle left with seven minutes left in the second after avoiding a Willam Lockwood hit, but came back in the third. Stuetzle was solid in this one and picked up an assist.

Recalled from the club’s AHL affiliate in Belleville earlier this week, Gustavsson was making his first NHL start since March against Montreal. He entered that game with six straight NHL losses with an .854 save percentage.

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It was his first victory since November 13.

“He was amazing for us tonight. He made some big saves that kept us in the game,” Formenton said. good job today.

The Canucks started the second period with Thatcher Demko in the net after Jaroslav Halak left stopping all 14 shots in the first. He took a gash in the blocker in the first, was clearly rattled and didn’t come back.

Trailing 2-1 to the Canucks after 40 minutes, the Senators got the kind of start they wanted in the second, but Vancouver ratcheted up the pressure with several shifts where Ottawa couldn’t get out of its own area.

Pushing to get back in the game, Formenton pulled Ottawa back to within a goal when he redirected a shot from Nikita Zaitsev from the point of Demko. It was Formenton’s 16th of the season at 4:04 of the second.

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The Senators had hoped for a better start than 24 hours earlier, but that didn’t happen. In some ways it was a carbon copy of the first half defeat to Kraken with the club trailing 2-0 in this one.

Sanctions have proven costly.

Although the Canucks only scored once on the power play, they took a 2-0 lead on a Brock Boeser strike from the circle that Gustavsson had no chance at 15:14, just when a Zach Senyshyn penalty expired.

Vancouver’s JT Miller opened the scoring on the power play at 1:55 of the first when his shot beat Gustavsson on the stick side; which came just six seconds after Dylan Gambrell was sent to the box.

The Senators will face the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday at Nationwide Arena to conclude this road trip.

bgarrioch@postmedia.com

Twitter: @sungarrioch

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