Senators blank Minnesota 3-0
By Jess Myers
ST. PAUL — Playing for the first time in 2014, Ottawa backup goaltender Robin Lehner recorded his first shutout of the season with 27 saves for the streaking Senators in a 3-0 win over the Minnesota Wild.
Lehner, who had started just once since Dec. 18, got goal support from left wing Clark MacArthur, right winger Erik Condra and center Kyle Turris as the Senators (21-18-8) improved to 6-0-1 in their last seven games.
Minnesota (25-19-5) has been playing great hockey on the road, where the Wild have won three in a row, but have now lost two straight in their home rink, despite 29 saves from goalie Darcy Kuemper on Tuesday.
The Senators recorded 12 of the game’s first 13 shots on goal, and took a 1-0 lead on a first period power play. With Wild center Mikael Granlund serving a double minor for a high stick to Ottawa defenseman Erik Karlsson’s face, MacArthur finished off a high-speed rush to the net, taking a cross-ice pass from Turris for a quick re-direct past Kuemper.
Wild coach Mike Yeo called referees Mike Hasenfratz and Chris Lee to the bench for a heated conversation where the coach claimed MacArthur was offside on the play, but the goal was allowed to stand.
After a scoreless second period, the Wild were clearly the aggressors early in the final 20 minutes, and it cost them. Minnesota defenseman Marco Scandella’s slap shot attempt from the blue line produced a broken stick, a turnover and a breakaway for Condra, who finished an end-to-end rush by poking the puck between Kuemper’s knees.
Turris added a power play goal with 2:22 left in the game, his third in as many games. The Senators captured seven of a possible eight points on their just-concluded four-game road trip.
Kuemper was making just his fifth appearance of the season. He has started three of the Wild’s past five games while goaltender Josh Harding is sidelined, dealing with medication to treat his multiple sclerosis.
Notes: While he is still a ways away from returning to game action, Wild LW Zach Parise skated with an assistant coach prior to practice Tuesday. Parise last played in Minnesota’s Dec. 22 road game vs. the New York Rangers. He suffered a foot injury Nov. 25. ... Senators RW Chris Neil was scratched from the Ottawa lineup Tuesday for the fifth consecutive game. Neil, an alternate captain, has five goals and one assist this season, but is dealing with a hamstring injury. ... The time away from the rink hasn’t been uneventful for Parise. Last week he and wife Alisha became parents for the first time, welcoming a boy and girl — twins Jaxson and Emilia — into the world. ... The first period goal by Senators LW Clarke MacArthur was his fifth in the last six games. ... Minnesota, which won its last three road games, is in the middle of a three-game homestand. The Wild hosts the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday. Having just concluded four in a row on the road, the Senators are at home on Thursday as well, hosting the Montreal Canadiens.