OTTAWA – Just four games into the season and the Ottawa Senators are already looking to improve on their consistency.
Five Senators had a goal and an assist each as Ottawa defeated the Arizona Coyotes 7-4 on Tuesday in front of a sparse crowd of 11,061 at Canadian Tire Centre. The win came a day after a 5-1 loss in Detroit where the Senators seemed sluggish.
“It was a good game to bounce back. We were disappointed with our effort (Monday) night and we had a meeting and talked about the things we need to improve on,” said Tom Pyatt, who scored late in the first period on Tuesday.
“Tonight was definitely a better effort and we did all the simple things.”
Zack Smith had a short-handed goal and Bobby Ryan scored on the power play for the Senators (3-1-0). Mark Stone, Chris Kelly, Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson, into an empty net, also scored for Ottawa. Mike Hoffman had three assists. Craig Anderson made 31 saves to earn the win.
Pyatt, Kelly, Turris, Stone and Karlsson all had two-point nights.
“With the back-to-back and the travel we just wanted to come out, play our game and be consistent with it,” Turris said. “We played a much better game but we gave up more shots than we would have liked but we’re clicking offensively. It’s a work in progress.”
Jordan Martinook scored twice for Arizona (1-1-0) including his second at 18:43 just 30 seconds after Turris gave the Senators a 6-3 lead. Tobias Rieder and Oliver Ekman-Larsson had the other goals for the Coyotes.
Arizona lost the services of starting goalie Mike Smith seven minutes into the third period when he suffered an injury to his left leg during a scramble in front of the net.
“We’ll re-evaluate (Wednesday), but it’s too early to get any diagnosis yet. We’ll just do our due diligence and find out what it is,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said.
Smith, who had stopped 27-of-30 shots before getting hurt, was replaced in the goal by Louis Domingue, who finished with eight saves but surrendered two goals on the first three shots he faced less than a minute after entering the game.
Kelly capitalized on a giveaway and beat Domingue from in close at 7:30 and then Stone scored on a rebound at 8:11 giving the Senators a 5-2 lead.
Martinook pulled the Coyotes to within a pair of goals at 10:07.
Ekman-Larsson had cut the Senators lead to 3-2 with a power-play goal just 61 seconds into the third period.
The Senators ended the second period down two men to penalties, but the penalty killers were more dangerous than those running the power in the middle frame.
Zack Smith scored once shorthanded to give the Senators a 3-1 lead and in the final minute of the period he broke in alone on Mike Smith but his backhand shot went wide.
On his goal Smith got a great backhand pass from Pyatt and scored with a quick shot at 13:04. It was Smith’s second goal of the season as he works to try and duplicate his career high 25 goals from last season.
The Coyotes opened the scoring in the first period when Rieder beat Anderson on a rebound from the slot. Anderson got his glove on the shot from 20 feet inside the blue line but the puck bounced out right to Rieder.
The original shot came from Dylan Strome and earned the centre a point in his first NHL game and helped the Coyotes take a 1-0 lead at 12:18.
That lead was short lived as Ryan scored a power-play goal at 13:41, tipping a Mike Hoffman point shot past Smith to tie the game 1-1.
Ottawa quickly took its first lead of the game as Pyatt chipped a loose puck in front of the net past Smith at 15:16.
“The execution wasn’t that good and it’s something we have to clean up,” Tippett said. “The difference in the game was we didn’t execute very well and we’ve got some guys that aren’t competing as hard as they need to compete.”
The Senators are a perfect 3-0-0 at home this season and will host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday before heading out on a three-game Western swing.
The Coyotes continue their season-long six-game road trip in Montreal on Thursday.
Notes: Senators’ scratches Tuesday were Matt Puempel and Phil Varone while Jacob Chychrun, Jamie McGinn and Christian Dvorak were scratches for the Coyotes… The Senators’ first goal Tuesday snapped an 0-for-9 start to their power play this season…Along with Strome, Senators defenceman Thomas Chabot was also making his NHL debut Tuesday night… Coyotes captain Shane Doan is tied with Dale Hawerchuck for second and three away from reaching Thomas Steen’s all-time franchise mark of 553 assists.