EditorsNote: Adds NOTES
Senators use four-goal third to defeat Coyotes
OTTAWA -- Two shots by Chris Kelly 12 seconds apart in the third period turned a close game into a rather comfortable victory for the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night.
The first, with the score 3-2 in Ottawa’s favor, saw the Senators center hit the cross bar, leaving a loose puck in the crease. When Arizona Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith reached back for it, he suffered a lower body injury that forced him to leave the game.
Kelly greeted his replacement, Louis Domingue, with a goal a dozen seconds after he stepped in the crease. And 41 seconds later, Senators winger Mark Stone scored to make it 5-2 and Ottawa went on to a 7-4 victory at Canadian Tire Centre.
”You never want to see someone get hurt ... I hope Smith is all right,“ Kelly said. ”I was just unlucky with the shot, and (he was) unlucky with how he went down.
“But it was nice to get that second chance shortly after.”
There was little in the way of information on Smith’s injury coming from the Coyotes’ room after the game, other than how much the team will miss its veteran puck stopper if he is out for an extended period of time.
Smith, who made 27 saves as the Coyotes scored a 4-3 overtime victory over the Philadelphia Flyers in their season opener Saturday, stopped 27 of 30 Ottawa shots before exiting Tuesday’s game.
“We’ll make sure to do our due diligence and find out what it is and probably have more (Wednesday),” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “It could be a short term thing, I don’t know. We’ll see. He’s played very well, that’s for sure.”
Wingers Bobby Ryan, Tom Pyatt, Zack Smith and Mark Stone; centers Chris Kelly and Kyle Turris; and defenseman Erik Karlsson scored for Ottawa (3-1-0).
Winger Mike Hoffman added three assists for the Senators, who had six players with multi-point games.
Goaltender Craig Anderson made 31 saves in recording his third win of the season.
Winger Jordan Martinook scored twice for Arizona (1-1-0) while center Tobias Rieder and defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson had the others. Domingue stopped eight of 11 shots after replacing Smith.
“After Smitty goes down, they get two quick ones and that’s tough,” said Martinook, who called Smith “phenomenal” against he Flyers in the home opener. “With Louis coming in there, you can’t fault him on any of those, but they get the two quick ones and we’re pretty much out of it, we’re just chasing.”
While the Coyotes had two full days off between games, the Senators were coming off a 5-1 beating in Detroit on Monday.
“Last night we laid an egg,” Zack Smith said. “There wasn’t much positive to bring out of that one. So it was nice to play back to back. You don’t usually hear guys say that, but it is when you go through a game like Detroit and you have a chance to bounce back at home.”
The Coyotes were unable to take advantage of any weariness the Senators might have had off the hop. They scored the first goal when Rieder was left alone to swat home the rebound off a shot by center Dylan Strome, but the Senators bounced back with two quick ones, by Ryan and Pyatt, to lead 2-1 after one.
The Senators increased their lead to 3-1 when Smith scored the lone goal of the second, which was Ottawa’s second shorthanded goal of the season.
”We just turned the puck over,“ Tippett said. ”I think they had five or six scoring chances in the first period and I think we had the puck on our stick five or six times to turn it over. When you start doing that, teams start to feed off that, especially a team that played last night. The execution wasn’t very good. That’s something we have to clean up.
“We’ve got some guys who aren’t competing as hard as they need to compete. When you do that, you’re not going to win many games.”
The Senators are off until Saturday, when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Coyotes go on to play Thursday in Montreal, the second contest a six-game road trip.
In the meantime, they’ll await news on whether their No. 1 goalie will be a part of it, or if he has to go home.
“He’s a good friend and first of all,” Coyotes winger Shane Doan said. “I want him to be okay. You never want to see anybody be hurt like that. He seemed to be pretty sore, so hopefully, he’s alright. None of us know yet. You never want to see that.”
NOTES: Highly touted Coyotes C Dylan Strome made his NHL debut, as did Senators D Thomas Chabot. Strome was the third pick in the 2015 NHL draft while Chabot was selected 18th overall the same year ... To make room for Strome, Coyotes C Christian Dvorak was a healthy scratch for the first time ... Coyotes D Jakob Chychrun also missed his first game as a healthy scratch ....With the addition of Chabot, Senators coach Guy Boucher went with an alignment of seven defensemen and 11 forwards. Senators LW Matt Puempel, who played Monday in Detroit, was a healthy scratch for the second time this season. Senators LW Phil Varone was a healthy scratch for the second game in a row.