Drake Batherson scored the game winner Monday as the Ottawa Senators edged the visiting Vancouver Canucks 2-1.
Josh Norris also scored for the Sens (18-27-4) and Brady Tkachuk registered a pair of assists.
Olli Juolevi had the lone goal for the Canucks (19-19-3), temporarily drawing Vancouver even with a long blast 14:07 into the first period.
Sens goalie Marc Hogberg stopped 25-of-26 shots to collect his third win of the season and Braden Holtby had 25 saves for Vancouver.
The Sens were coming off a 4-2 loss to the Canucks on Saturday. Vancouver leads the nine-game season series between the two sides 6-2.
Monday’s result is a tough one for the Canucks who are still hoping to catch the Montreal Canadiens and Calgary Flames in the battle for a post-season spot. Vancouver remains 10 points behind Montreal, which currently holds the fourth and final spot in the all-Canadian North Division.
The Sens took a 2-1 lead into the third Monday and refused to relent, allowing a single shot across the first 10 minutes of the period.
Vancouver pulled Holtby with 1:43 left on the clock, but couldn’t bury the puck with the extra attacker.
The Canucks nearly drew even again in the dying seconds of the middle frame.
A shot by Bo Horvat on the power play got through Hogberg but the netminder cleared the errant puck off the goal line with 0.4 seconds left on the clock.
Batherson gave the Sens a one-goal lead 11:41 into the second, blasting a shot over Holtby’s stick from the top of the left face-off circle for his 17th goal of the season.
Juolevi levelled the score a 1-1 midway through the first period. His shot from near the blue line sailed through traffic and hit the underside of the crossbar on its way in.
Norris opened the scoring 11:22 into the first following a sloppy Canucks turnover.
Tkachuk picked up the puck near the Sens blue line and streaked away for a 2-on-1, dishing the puck to Norris as they entered Vancouver territory. The rookie centreman waited patiently for the perfect opportunity, then blasted a shot between Holtby’s body and blocker to give Ottawa an early 1-0 lead.
The goal was Norris’s 14th of the year. He has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) since April 1.
Ottawa briefly appeared to get on the board earlier in the opening frame.
Holtby came out to the top of the crease to make a stop on Thomas Chabot. Colin White collected the rebound and popped it into the net, but officials immediately waved off the goal, saying Chabot interfered with Holtby in the crease.
The Canucks and Senators will wrap up their season series in Ottawa on Wednesday.
NOTES: Tkachuk leads the Senators in scoring with 32 points (15 goals, 17 assists). … Both teams were 0 for 1 on the power play. … Vancouver goalie Thatcher Demko picked up a lower-body injury in morning skate on Monday and is considered day-to-day. Arturs Silovs acted as backup for Holtby against the Sens.
THE CANADIAN PRESS
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