Senators leave Minnesota empty-handed again after 3-2 loss to Wild

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All good things must end.

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The Ottawa Senators had their season-high five-game winning streak come to a screeching halt in a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center.

The Senators battled back on goals by Drake Batherson and Jakob Chychrun, but then let it slip away as Vinnie Lettieri scored the third-period winner for the Wild an Ottawa turnover led to the goal.

“They capitalized on our mistakes and made the most of it,” Batherson, who took responsibility for the winner by the Wild, told TSN 1200’s Gord Wilson.

The Senators had to battle back from a 2-0 deficit early in the second period to tie it up in the third. Had it not been for Marc-Andre Fleury this wouldn’t have been close because the Senators completely outplayed the Wild.

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Ottawa outshot the Wild 32-20.

“We played a good game. We had our chances, when you play a goalie like Fleury you’ve got to get in front of him,” alternate captain Claude Giroux told Wilson. “We didn’t really do that and he was able to see the pucks.

“In games like that you’ve got to minimize your mistakes. We’ve been playing pretty well lately.”

The last time the Senators won in Minnesota was March 31, 2016. Cody Ceci scored the third-period winner in the 3-2 victory after being set up by Jean-Gabriel Pageau, who had a three-point night.

This was the Senators sixth straight loss in Minnesota.

The decision by interim coach Jacques Martin to go back to goaltender Joonas Korpisalo in this one was no surprise. He had posted wins in five of his last six starts and was solid in the club’s 3-2 win over the Winnipeg Jets Saturday to start the road trip.

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“We beat ourselves. We gave them the goals,” said Martin.

Chychrun made this interesting by tying it up 2-2 on the power play at 2:42 of the third. He scored his 13th of the season by taking a pass from Batherson and beating Fleury on the stick side. That’s his fifth goal in the club’s last six games and it came on a perfect feed from Batherson.

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The Wild thought it had taken the lead on the power play with 8:33 left in the third, but the Senators were saved by the whistle.

The officials lost sight of a loose puck sitting in the Ottawa crease and blew the whistle before Kirill Kaprizov pushed it home. The official was on the wrong side of Korpisalo and couldn’t see the puck.

That came with Parker Kelly in the box and just moments after Fleury made a huge stop on Ridly Greig. The Senators couldn’t capitalize on the break and it could have been a turn of events.

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The Senators completely outplayed and outshot the Wild 23-12 through 40 minutes, but the club was trailing 2-1 to Minny. This wasn’t just on Korpisalo, but Ottawa went into the third with a 4-27-3 record when trailing after two periods … Batherson scored No. 27 of the season on the power play with 12:17 left in the second when he got Ottawa on the board. He went upstairs on Fleury to pull the club to within a goal … The Wild pulled out to a 2-0 lead only 49 seconds into the second. Matt Boldy fired a blast by Korpisalo. He couldn’t do anything about it, but the Senators were terrible in their own zone and Boldy was left all alone to fire a blast from the top of the circle … The Senators finished the game with 11 forwards. Belleville callup Angus Crookshank left after the first with an undisclosed lower-body injury … Called up before this trip, defenceman Tyler Kleven, who grew up in Grand Forks, N.D., had lots of friends and family in the house. “It’s really special for me, for my family and all my friends,” Kleven told TSN’s Gord Miller after the first. “I grew up watching these games. Being able to play against these guys is a dream come true. I’m having a lot of fun.”

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Mason Shaw opened the scoring for the Wild. He redirected a pass from Zach Bogosian by Korpisalo through the five-hole. That was on the Wild’s second shot and it came with only 7:28 left in the first. It’s the 39th time in 74 games the Senators have allowed the opening goal. The Senators needed to be better defensively on that one … A head-shaking stat: Tim Stutzle has just one power play goal in 74 games this season. Brady Tkachuk leads the team with 10 goals … Minny’s Ryan Hartman served the first of his three-game suspension for tossing a stick near the officials in a 2-1 OT loss to Vegas Saturday. “I have a lot of passion for this game and for winning and for protecting our players,” Hartman told Minnesota reporters. “I don’t feel like I’ve been putting our team behind the eight ball by any means by taking frustration penalties. Can you say me being out three games is hurting the team? Maybe. But that was out of my hands. Obviously it was my doing, but it was in player safety’s hands.”

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