OTTAWA, Ontario (AP)Claude Giroux had a pair of goals and an assist to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 5-2 win over the San Jose Sharks on Saturday night.
”We were playing good hockey for a while and we weren’t getting the result . and when you don’t get the results, you start doubting the way we’re playing, but we just have to trust that the way we’re playing is going to work,” Giroux said.
”(Saturday) was a great example of you just have to stick with it.”
Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Thomas Chabot also scored for the Senators. Anton Forsberg made 35 saves.
The Senators also gave full credit to the 17,101 on hand who were vocal from the start.
”Kudos to the fans and the crowd that gave us that energy,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said. ”If it’s a dead crowd or maybe there’s not enough fans here tonight maybe we don’t find this gear. I think the guys felt that, right from the anthem on out.”
Tomas Hertl scored twice for the Sharks, who are 1-2-0 through their four-game road trip that wraps up Sunday. Kaapo Kahkonen stopped 34 shots.
”We find ways to lose,” Sharks captain Logan Couture said. ”I’ve said that many times this year. Until we fix that, and find ways to start winning games, it’s not going to be going in the right direction.”
The Senators won their second straight, following a 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers on Friday night. The Sharks were playing for the first time since Wednesday.
Ottawa especially benefitted from going an impressive 3 for 5 on the power play against the best penalty-kill team in the league.
”You can’t take that many penalties against that team,” Sharks coach David Quinn said. ”Some sloppy stick penalties that we can’t have. It’s frustrating because I thought there were some things in our game that I liked. We had some good chances we didn’t capitalize on.”
Ottawa scored its third power-play goal 5:18 into the third period when Mathieu Joseph fed Chabot, who stretched the lead to 4-2.
The Senators’ final goal came as a result of an impressive sequence of events. The Sharks were on a 4-on-3 power play that consisted of numerous chances and Ottawa’s Travis Hamonic being without his stick at one point. But just as the power play expired, Giroux was able to break in alone and fire a slap shot past Kahkonen.
After trailing 2-1 to start the second, the Senators took a 3-2 lead after 40 minutes. A giveaway by Matt Benning put the puck on Giroux’s stick and he took full advantage, scoring 10th at 5:22 of the second.
Ottawa took the lead at 16:40 of the middle frame with its second power-play goal of the game, thanks to a perfect touch pass from Drake Batherson to Stutzle, who had plenty of room for his 10th of the season.
Hertl scores two goals in the first period, helping the Sharks to an early lead. He beat Forsberg on the power play 7:26 into the period to open the scoring.
Tkachuk tied the game with a power-play goal of his own at 10:25 of the period, jumping on a rebound in front of Kahkonen.
Thirty-eight seconds later, Hertl scored his second when he was left alone in front and beat Forsberg to restore San Jose’s lead.
NOTES: With his 44th NHL career goal, Tim Stutzle set a franchise record for goals before turning 21-years-old. . The Senators were without defenseman Artem Zub after taking a puck to the face Friday in New York.
Sharks: At Buffalo on Sunday night in the finale of a four-game trip.
Senators: Host Los Angeles on Tuesday night to wrap up a two-game homestand.
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