Senators humbled by Wild as playoff drive becomes less certain – Ontario News

Senators humbled by Wild as playoff drive becomes less certain – Ontario News


Minnesota Wild’s Nino Niederreiter (22) shoots the puck into the net past Ottawa Senators’ goalie Craig Anderson in the first period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn.
Stacy Bengs / AP

Wild 5, Senators 1

ST. PAUL, Minn. — It’s gut-check time for the Ottawa Senators.

Hit by injuries — including the loss of captain Erik Karlsson — the Senators took a 5-1 pounding from the Minnesota Wild on Thursday night in a terrible loss at the Xcel Energy Center. The defeat raises concerns about the club’s road to the post-season, with only six games left on the schedule.

Not only did the Senators start the game without Karlsson, who blocked a shot on Tuesday in Philadelphia and couldn’t suit up, they also were without winger Alex Burrows, who was out with an upper-body injury. Then winger Zack Smith left with an upper-body injury of his own in the first period and didn’t return.

Suddenly, with the teams behind them erasing the Senators’ breathing room as they try clinch a playoff spot, Ottawa has dropped three straight, as only Mike Hoffman was able to beat Minnesota goalie Alex Stalock.


Ottawa Senators’ Mark Stone (61) controls the puck against Minnesota Wild’s Eric Staal (12) in the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, March 30, 2017, in St. Paul, Minn.

Stacy Bengs /

AP

Goaltender Craig Anderson, who is 1-3-2 in his past six starts, shouldn’t have to shoulder the blame for this one, but he’s got to be better after allowing Nino Niederreiter to score twice for the Wild while Jason Pominville, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Dumba also chipped in for Minnesota.

“It’s a difficult loss that they…



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