With Ottawa’s leading scorer sidelined, Phillips scored his first goal of the season in the first period, sparking the Senators’ 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.
“It’s huge,” Phillips said. “Obviously, I’m the last guy with the big goose egg, and it seemed like it was getting talked about more and more. … It’s nice to not have a zero sitting there.”
Patrick Eaves added a goal in the second period and Peter Schaefer sealed the win with an empty-net score with 22 seconds left to help the Senators (28-7-1-2) improve their NHL-best point total to 59.
“They’re a good defensive team starting with their goaltender and then their strong (defensive) corps,” Pettinger said. “There’s no weaknesses there, it’s so tough.”
The Senators played without leading scorer Daniel Alfredsson, who missed his second straight game with a cracked rib, and center Jason Spezza, who has a pulled chest muscle. But their teammates picked up the slack.
“If you look at the guys that are injured, that’s a lot of firepower, a lot of points we’re missing,” Phillips said. “A lot of nights, their talent just takes over and gets you goals. That’s why we had to be smarter about not giving up as many chances.”
The Capitals had two long stretches with a 5-on-3 advantage, one for 1:50 in the second period and another for 2:07 in the third, but went scoreless until Pettinger’s goal at 14:19 of the third.
Alfredsson, whose 25 goals rank fourth in the NHL, is expected to miss another week. Spezza, who has missed six of the last seven games, is day-to-day. … Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin went scoreless, ending a six-game goal-scoring streak—a franchise record for a rookie. … The attendance of 10,047 was the lowest for a Capitals game since Oct. 16. … Kolzig finished with 24 saves.