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GARRIOCH GAME REPORT: Artem Anisimov scores in OT as Senators pull off victory over Dallas Stars

Ottawa Senators centre Artem Anisimov (51) scores on Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin (35) to win the game in overtime period NHL hockey action in Ottawa, Sunday February 16, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)
Ottawa Senators centre Artem Anisimov (51) scores on Dallas Stars goaltender Anton Khudobin (35) to win the game in overtime period NHL hockey action in Ottawa, Sunday February 16, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang)

The timing was perfect for the Ottawa Senators Sunday night.

Artem Anisimov played the role of hero by scoring the overtime winner on a breakaway to give the Senators a thrilling 4-3 victory over the Dallas Stars Sunday night in front of 13,150 at the Canadian Tire Centre.

Anisimov scored at 3:48 of OT.

“It’s obviously fun,” said Anisimov, who scored his 11th of the year. “I looked at the goalie, I thought I’m going to do this move, and it went in which is nice.”

With both teams playing their third game in four nights, the Senators and Stars were forced to work overtime because Ottawa refused to go down without a fight. The Senators gave the Stars everything they could handle as Tyler Ennis, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Brady Tkachuk did the scoring in regulation for Ottawa while Joe Pavelski, Stephen Johns and John Klingberg replied for Dallas.

Making the start after taking over in relief of Marcus Hogberg Saturday, Craig Anderson was busy in the Ottawa net with 33 stops while the Senators tested Dallas backup Anton Khudobin with 46 shots.

While Ennis’ 14th of the season with 9:59 left in the third looked like it would be enough for the Senators to secure the victory, Pavelski’s 13th at 14:49 of the third tied it up to send it to overtime.

You gotta give the Senators credit because they were right in this one after dropping a 4-2 decision to the Toronto Maple Leafs only 24 hours earlier at home. The Stars have been a difficult competitor this season and the Senators gave Dallas everything the club could handle.

With the Stars coming off a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday in Montreal, coach D.J. Smith told reporters before the game this task was going to be tough.

“I thought we played great right from the start,” said Smith. “We had a little bit of panic, maybe in the third, when they came on. Andy was there to make the saves. I thought we broke the puck out well. We had energy. All the guys contributed.

“(Dallas) hit the goalie a couple of times in the first when they came out physical but I thought (Scott Sabourin) settled that down pretty good for us. I thought we played well.”

The Senators and Stars don’t see each other very often, but after the first two periods a lot of people probably wished that they did.  Tied 2-2 after 40 minutes, the Senators outshot Dallas 33-23 and it was a late goal by Johns with 1:47 left in the first period that tied it up.

Tkachuk picked up a perfect pass from Anthony Duclair in front to fire it by Khudobin for his 18th only 33 seconds earlier to give Ottawa a brief 2-1 lead. Tkachuk finished with a goal and two assists.

“It was a fun game. They’re a good team and for us to get two points that’s huge win for us,” said Tkachuk, who had three shots and seven hits.

Pageau’s 22nd of the season the power play tied it up 1-1 with 12:24 left in the first. He took a pass in front and fired it by Khudobin with Benn in the box for goaltender interference on an impressive performance by Ottawa with the man advantage.

There was nothing Anderson could do on the opening goal by Klingberg at 3:03 of the first. His shot from the point deflected off Nikita Zaitsev in front, changed direction and beat Anderson on the glove side to give the Stars a 1-0 lead.

“I thought we followed up last night’s effort and tonight’s effort was definitely excellent,’ said Anderson. “There was definitely a lot of energy in the building again. We like playing in front of our fans and we like enjoying the moment. That wasn’t any different tonight.

“I thought our guys really stuck to our game plan. We played with energy and poise. That’s a good team over there and we were able to be the better team on a back-to-back. It was just a matter of power of will there and I thought we did a great job.”

The club recalled defenceman Andreas Englund Sunday morning to have an extra player around because some of their blueliners are nursing minor bumps and bruises. Smith said defenceman Mark Borowiecki will be out at least a week with the ankle injury he suffered last Thursday against Arizona.

“No timetable but it doesn’t look like it’s very soon either,” said Smith. “I wouldn’t necessarily long-term either but he’s not playing in the next week or so.”

The Senators will host the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night and before the game, they’ll honour long-time defenceman Chris Phillips by retiring his No. 4.

Twitter: @sungarrioch


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