Senators rally past Islanders
UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—Ottawa coach Cory Clouston delivered a simple second-intermission message, telling the Senators to get an early goal and trust their skills.
The Senators responded, killing off two penalties to start the final period before Alex Kovalev(notes), Jason Spezza(notes) and Mike Fisher(notes) scored in a 6:59 span in a 4-3 comeback victory over the New York Islanders on Sunday.
“In the third period, we took over and forechecked harder,” Spezza said. “When you start taking more chances, they sit back on their heels and it was too late to change momentum back.”
Ottawa won for the 14th time in its past 16 games, erasing a 3-1 deficit to head into the Olympic break with momentum. Jarkko Ruutu(notes) also scored to improve the Senators to 3-0 against the Islanders this season.
“To be able to win like we have in the past month-and-a half, it takes a lot of emotional energy,” Clouston said. “It’s a good opportunity for us to just get away, come back energized and refocused and get ready to make that last push.”
“I saw (Kuba) rounding the corner and he just looked up, saw me and made a sick pass,” Fisher said. “It was an easy one for me. Right on my stick. It was all him.”
Down two goals entering the final period, Ottawa killed off a 56-second 5-on-3 to start the third. The lack of a put-away goal gave Ottawa hope when Kovalev scored his 17th goal at 3:47.
Spezza’s power-play goal almost 5 minutes later tied it, and Fisher completed the momentum swing 1:33 after that with his 20th goal.
Islanders coach Scott Gordon citied the failure to score on the two-man advantage as the turning point.
“We’ll put it behind us,” Gordon said. “We have plenty of time before our next game.”
Roloson made 31 saves. He’s winless in his last five starts.
“We didn’t have to do anything but keep playing,” Roloson said. “Unfortunately, we made mistakes in our end that ended up in our net.”
NOTES: Roloson played in his 500th career game. … Islanders goaloe Rick DiPietro(notes) (flu) was scratched for a second straight game. … Elliott is 12-2 is his past 14 games. … C Matt Cullen(notes) has not recorded a point since the Senators acquired him in a trade with Carolina last week.