OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) Goaltender Craig Anderson sees his team playing with a different structure as of late. It's paying off with victories.
Anderson made 29 saves, Kyle Turris scored the shootout winner and Dion Phaneuf got his first goal with the Ottawa Senators in a 3-2 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday night.
Ottawa has won three straight games for the first time since Nov. 19-24. The Senators are four points behind Pittsburgh for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, although the Penguins have three games in hand.
''I like the style we're playing right now,'' Anderson said. ''It's very conservative, and we're not run-and-gun right now. We're playing consistent and together as a group and it's getting us some wins, so it's some positive reinforcement for us.''
Andreas Athanasiou and Brad Richards scored for the Red Wings, and Petr Mrazek made 25 saves. Detroit has lost three straight on the road.
''I thought in the end it was a fairly even game,'' Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. ''I told the guys that we could play great and not win, that's the reality sometimes, and I'm not saying we played great, but certainly a lot better and we've got to do the same thing (Sunday).''
The Senators have struggled when giving up the first goal this season but were able to change their fortune on this night thanks to their newest player.
Phaneuf tied it with 3:51 left in the third period when he ripped a shot through traffic to beat Mrazek. The goal brought a raucous ovation from the home crowd.
''To be received like that after scoring it's something I'll never forget as a player,'' Phaneuf said.
''You can't overestimate what Dion Phaneuf has done in terms of our top-four defensemen and the breakouts, the D-zone coverage. All those things have improved since Dion came here,'' Senators coach David Cameron said. ''You add a real good player in the back end as a top-four defenseman and you get on a bit of a roll and that all adds to the confidence.''
Anderson got the fans in the game with a double-stack pad save on Justin Abdelkader early in the first period.
''It's funny because we played so well on the road for a stretch of time there, but now we seem to have gotten away from that,'' Abdelkader said. ''Every time you're on the road you've got to play a more simple game and even at the start of this game we were turning pucks over and weren't getting pucks behind.''
The Red Wings then opened the scoring at 10:46 of the second when Erik Karlsson made a brutal giveaway, putting the puck right on Athanasiou's stick, and he quickly beat Anderson.
Ottawa tied the game exactly 1 minute later when Jean-Gabriel Pageau found Zack Smith skating through the slot. Smith redirected the puck through Mrazek's legs and tied a career high for goals with his 14th of the season.
Detroit regained the lead late in the second on an unlucky play for Karlsson, who attempted to bat the puck out of the air but sent it right past Anderson instead. Richards was given credit for the goal.
''That was a tough period for number 65 and the Ottawa Senators,'' Karlsson said. ''But great team effort. I don't think it fazed us at all. I didn't think about it at the time, I thought I was playing a good game and just kept doing the same thing. Those things happen and it didn't discourage our team.''
The Red Wings had a scare early in the game when Mrazek appeared shaken after taking Patrick Wiercioch's shot early in the period, but he remained in the game.
NOTES: Senators C Shane Prince and D Chris Wideman were healthy scratches for the Senators. ... Detroit's leading scorer C Dylan Larkin was unable to play due to illness and D Jonathan Ericsson missed his fourth straight game due to a lower-body injury. D Jakub Kindl was a healthy scratch. ... The Senators head out for a three-game western trip, while Detroit will wrap up its four-game trip Sunday against the New York Rangers.