Senators snap Devils three-game winning streak, 5-3
OTTAWA – Taylor Hall scored a goal as he played in his 500th NHL game.
That came on the power play after Hall decked Alexandre Burrows with an unpenalized check and the Senators grinder, in Hall’s words, responded by “losing his mind. He punched me in the back of the head 10 times.”
Still, not nearly enough went right for the Devils in a 5-3 loss at Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night as they admittedly may not have given the injury-plagued and floundering Senators enough respect.
“It’s about respecting our opponent no matter what the record is,” Hall said. “We have to come out and really not take for granted points in this league. It’s tough to squander points like that.”
“I thought we could have been a little more engaged off the bat,” Travis Zajac added.
Zajac put the Devils ahead 1-0 at 1:57 of the first period but the Senators responded with three first-period goals, two on the power play, and chased Keith Kinkaid after he allowed four goals on 20 shots.
The Devils (27-17-8) had their three-game winning streak – all with Kinkaid in net – snapped as they slipped to third place in the Metropolitan Division with the Penguins beating visiting Vegas, 5-4.
Craig Anderson made 30 saves for the Senators (18-25-9), who won their first game in regulation since Jan. 10.
The Devils dressed 11 forwards and seven defensemen by choice for the fourth straight game. The Senators used the unconventional alignment by necessity with forwards Derick Brassard (undisclosed), Nate Thompson (lower body), Bobby Ryan (hand) and Mark Stone (knee) unavailable.
NHL veteran Eddie Lack, acquired from the Flames on Dec. 30 for defenseman Dalton Prout, made his Devils’ debut after being recalled from Binghamton (AHL) on Sunday by stopping 11 of 12 shots.
But he gave up a breakaway goal to Zack Smith, exiting the penalty box, with 47.5 seconds left in the second period as the Senators took a 5-2 lead.
“I feel like I’ve got to make that save,” Lack said. “I feel like I was chasing it a little bit at the beginning. I thought it got better and better as the game went on.”
Kinkaid’s night ended when a wide-open Colin White, 21, beat him from the right circle at 8:43 of the second period for his first NHL goal as the Senators took a 4-1 lead.
Hall cut the Senators’ lead to 4-2 with a power-play goal at 10:54 of the second period after he drew a cross checking and roughing penalty on Burrows, enraged by Hall’s check on him.
In the ensuing scrum, Burrows landed on top of Hall and appeared to hit him in the helmet with his knee.
“I thought it was a clean hit,” Hall said. “He’s losing his mind. He kneed me in the back of the head at one point, too. He has a bit of a reputation for Player Safety stuff. I think he’s cleaned it up a lot in the recent past. But that didn’t feel great when he was rabbit punching me there.”
“He is what he is,” Devils coach John Hynes said of Burrows.
Kyle Palmieri cut the Devils’ deficit to 5-3 at 5:12 of the third period.
But the Devils never could regain momentum after the Senators’ three goals in the first period.
Blake Coleman was called for roughing Erik Karlsson at 11:55 of the first period and that became a five-on-three as Palmieri was called for high sticking Ryan Dzingel at 13:02.
Mike Hoffman converted on the two-man advantage, beating Kinkaid from the right circle at 13:35. Christopher DiDomenico followed with a second power-play goal at 14:33 as his shot trickled through Kinkaid’s pads. Finally, Matt Duchene lifted a short-side shot over Kinkaid’s glove to make it 3-1 at 18:58.