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Senators edge Avalanche, sweep Global Series
STOCKHOLM -- In its return to Sweden for the first time since 2011, the NHL could not have scripted the Global Series any better. Playing in front of enthusiastic crowds at the Ericsson Globe, the Ottawa Senators and Colorado Avalanche delivered two entertaining and compelling matches with Swedish native sons as an integral part of the story line.
Mike Hoffman registered two power-play goals and Erik Karlsson added two assists as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Colorado Avalanche 4-3 in front a crowd 13,396 on Saturday.
Ottawa (8-3-5) won its second straight game to sweep the two-game series. Craig Anderson stopped all eight shots he faced in relief of Mike Condon to earn the win. The Senators’ persistence earned them the two points as they rallied from three separate one-goal deficits.
Colorado (8-7-1) lost its third straight game, receiving goals from Sven Andrighetto, Alexander Kerfoot and Blake Comeau. Jonathan Bernier made 36 saves.
The Senators staged a two-goal third period rally for the victory. Johnny Oduya’s second goal of the season at 7:01 evened the score on assists from Nate Thompson and Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Hoffman gave Ottawa the lead with his sixth goal of the season, unassisted on the power play at 13:23 of the third period. Hoffman gathered in Chris Bigras’ failed clearing attempt for a wrist shot that beat Bernier.
Despite the six-hour time difference between Ottawa and Stockholm and playing only these two games in the space of 10 days, Senators coach Guy Boucher walked away impressed with the event execution.
“We got two wins, so right now I love Sweden,” Boucher said. “The league did everything they could to make these games feel like regular season games. It was great to see Erik Karlsson, Fredrik Claesson and Johnny Oduya do well in front of their countrymen.”
Karlsson, who Boucher believes is the best defenseman in the world was the central focus during the week. He overcame an early turnover that led to Colorado’s first goal to register two assists in the win. He was one of the group of Swedish natives to receive a final ovation from the crowd after the game.
“This week exceeded the expectations we had,” Karlsson said. “I believe that if you asked every guy in our room they would concur.”
Colorado played better than earning the single standings point it received in the two games. As it was on Friday night, the Avalanche played the Senators on even terms but could not find a way to convert their late chances.
“For some reason, we get hesitant with the puck in the third period,” said Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog. “That’s been the story all season long.”
Kerfoot agreed, citing Colorado’s propensity to take penalties in outside its defensive zone that lead to the defeat.
“We can’t be taking penalties in the offensive and neutral zones,” Kerfoot said. “That cost us.”
The Avalanche took a 1-0 lead on Blake Comeau’s shorthanded goal at 13:13 of the first period. Senators defenseman Karlsson was unable to handle Mark Barberio’s clearing attempt at the Avalanche blue line. Comeau sped off on a breakaway and beat Condon with a wrist shot to his glove side.
The Senators tied the game on Mike Hoffman’s power play goal 13 seconds into the second period. After crossing the blue line, Hoffman lifted the puck into the Colorado zone where it took an odd bounce and squeezed by Bernier.
Colorado regained the lead at 2-1 on a power play goal by Kerfoot, his seventh of the season at 7:36 of the second period. Kerfoot took a return pass from Johnson and beat Condon with a rising wrist shot.
The Senators tied the game 2-2 on Mark Stone’s team-leading 12th goal of the season at 9:16 of the second period. Karlsson stole the puck from Matt Nieto inside the Colorado zone and found Stone stationed in front of Bernier for a backhand shot along the ice that found the net.
Colorado took its third lead of the game at 3-2 on Andrighetto’s fifth goal of the season at 10:36 of the middle frame. Andrighetto was left unguarded for a wrist shot that deflected off the stick of Ottawa defenseman Dion Phaneuf and by Condon with Kerfoot and Boris Mironov registering assists.
NOTES: Colorado scratched D Nikita Zadorov, LW A.J. Greer and C Carl Soderberg. Soderberg missed both Global Series games as he returned to Denver awaiting the birth of his second child to his wife, Caroline. ... Ottawa did not dress C Zack Smith and D Jack Rodewald.