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Zibanejad scores deciding goal in Senators' shootout win

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- Mika Zibanejad made the most of his second NHL shootout opportunity and the elevated spot with which he was entrusted.

The 19-year old Ottawa Senators rookie scored the deciding goal in a 3-2 shootout victory over the New Jersey Devils at Scotiabank Place Monday night.

The visitors dominated the game for the most part, but the Senators did enough against legendary 40-year-old goalie Martin Brodeur to pull out the victory.

Also finding mesh in the shootout was Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, who entered the night 0-for-6 this season in the tie-breaking process.

Travis Zajac was the only Devils player to beat Ben Bishop on New Jersey's four shootout chances.

"Obviously you want to take that chance and show they made a right choice," said Zibanejad, who failed in his only other shootout attempt this season.

Against Brodeur, he deked to his backhand before flipping the puck home.

"Right before I got to the puck I kind of knew what I was going to do," Zibanejad said. "I've been doing it before so it's nice to see it go in."

It was the second time in two meetings this season the Senators and Devils needed more than 65 minutes to determine a winner.

Bishop was in goal when Ottawa won a 2-1 shootout at the Prudential Center Feb. 18 to the kick start a season-high five game winning streak.

"It's definitely nice beating the best, and he's the best there is," Bishop said of Brodeur. "I'll take it."

The Devils had the best chance to settle matters in overtime, but the puck jumped over Adam Henrique's stick when he had Bishop at his mercy.

"That's just home ice advantage," Bishop said, smiling. "The puck lands on the ice and bounces a foot off the ice."

Chris Phillips and Colin Greening scored for the Senators in regulation time. Connecting for the Devils were Andrei Loktionov and Marek Zidlicky, who forced overtime when he scored with 13:55 left in the third.

After Phillips scored with a wrist shot from the sideboards at the 2:12 mark of the game and the Senators still swarming the Devils halfway into the first period, New Jersey coach Peter DeBoer called a timeout that had the desired effect.

The Devils outshot the Senators 29-13 through three periods and 5-1 in the extra five minutes.

"It was just to get our legs and composure back," DeBoer said of the tactic. "Ottawa is a quick starting team, especially in this building, and we knew that. We didn't handle it well the first five or six minutes.

I thought from that point on we were the better team."

That was the common belief inside the Devils dressing room, after their winning streak was stopped at two.

"I thought we played a great hockey game tonight, all of us," said Patrick Elias. "We worked extremely hard and this is better than not getting any points.

"Five minutes. It happens. But after that, we played an unbelievable 50 minutes, 55 minutes."

NOTES: Five weeks after having his Achilles tendon sliced by a skate blade in Pittsburgh, Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson said during the first intermission that his recovery is right on schedule. Asked if there was any chance he would play again this season, the Norris Trophy holder left the door open a crack. "Obviously, the guys have been playing great, and obviously that helps my motivation," Karlsson said. "It keeps me going forward and looking forward to going into the playoffs. And if that time comes, it's going to be a decision by them, but right now we don't really aim for playing this year." ... Defenseman Mike Lundin picked up his first point as a Senator when he assisted on Phillips' goal ... After the morning skate, New Jersey's Johan Hedberg was asked about the most recent accomplishment of Brodeur, his goaltending partner, who on Saturday won his 666th game as a Devil. "He should retire now. It'd be the perfect ending," Hedberg joked. ... Phillips' goal was his fifth of the season, equaling his total in 80 games during the 2012-13 campaign ... Krystofer Barch and Mark Fayne were the Devils' scratches. Jim O'Brien, Kaspars Daugavins and Andre Benoit were scratched from the Ottawa lineup.
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