Senators extend win streak by beating last-place Oilers 4-1
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) The Ottawa Senators are getting offense from unexpected places and giving themselves a chance to reach the postseason.
Zack Smith had a goal and an assist as the Senators ran their winning streak to four games by defeating the Edmonton Oilers 4-1 on Tuesday night.
Nick Paul, Alex Chiasson and Mark Stone also scored for the Senators, hoping for a late surge into the Eastern Conference playoffs similar to the one they managed last year.
''We've done a good job of stringing some wins together here and we're playing with a little more confidence,'' Smith said. ''To get one off the start of this road trip is huge. We need a big road trip to make a big push here at the end.''
Senators coach Dave Cameron was glad to see scoring coming from up and down the roster.
''The last little while the big thing is that we're getting some secondary scoring,'' he said. ''At this time of the year, with the schedule, you need to find different ways to win. Our secondary scoring has been good and I thought we were pretty consistent.''
Jordan Eberle had the goal for the Oilers, who have lost five in a row and are once again in last place in the NHL.
Edmonton coach Todd McLellan was left questioning his team's character and whether many of his players should be with the team past Monday's trade deadline.
''I have a huge concern because the spirit of the team isn't where it needs to be,'' McLellan said. ''There has to be 10 guys in there that have so much pride that they pull the rest of the guys along. We'll see what happens over the next six or seven days. Maybe there are some guys waiting for that. It's got to get better or we need to make huge, huge changes.''
Oilers defenseman Justin Schultz in particular drew some ire, finishing the game with a minus-3 rating.
''He had a pretty disappointing night as an individual and it affected the team,'' McLellan said.
The Senators got on the board first with 7 minutes left in the first period when Paul scored his first NHL goal in his fourth career game, whacking a rebound past Oilers goalie Cam Talbot, who was starting his 11th game in the last 12.
Talbot turned away 21 of 24 shots in defeat.
Ottawa went up by a pair of goals 6 minutes into the second period as Talbot got a piece of a one-timer from Smith on the power play, only to see it dribble into the net. It was Smith's 15th goal of the season.
Edmonton finally got one past Senators starter Craig Anderson with 1:46 left in the second, when Eberle picked up a rebound on the doorstep and put home his 19th of the season.
Anderson finished with 31 saves.
Ottawa made it 3-1 early in the third when Smith turned an Oilers turnover into a 2-on-1 and fed Chiasson for his second goal in the last three games and fifth of the season.
Stone added an empty-net goal at 16:39 of the third.
Both teams return to action Thursday. The Oilers head to Los Angeles to face the Kings, and the Senators travel to Vancouver to play the Canucks.
NOTES: Oilers defenseman Jordan Oesterle made his season debut after a recent call-up from Bakersfield of the AHL. ... Out with injuries for the Oilers were Oscar Klefbom (lower body), Andrew Ference (hip), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (hand) and Eric Gryba (knee). ... The lone major injury absence for the Senators was forward Clarke MacArthur, who sustained a concussion in the fourth game of the season. MacArthur is on the current Western Canada road trip, however, and could be close to being cleared to play.