Ottawa Senators lose 4-3 to Los Angeles Kings in overtime

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The Ottawa Senators head into Friday’s NHL deadline as sellers, bogged down by a six-game losing streak.

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That’s the reality after a 4-3 overtime loss in Los Angeles Thursday night.

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Come Friday’s deadline, with the NHL’s not-so-good teams loading up the playoff contenders, the Senators could be subtracting a couple more players after dealing Vladimir Tarasenko to the Florida Panthers Wednesday.

The Senators were good, for the most part, against the Kings, who are battling for a playoff spot in the Western Conference. But, as happens all too often for this year’s Ottawa team, there were some costly mental and physical breakdowns.

“We competed hard from the start,” Senators coach Jacques Martin told TSN 1200’s Gord Wilson. “They’re a big, heavy team and we did a good job controlling the puck in the offensive zone. We created several good opportunities, we probably could have scored a couple more.”

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It was a solid first period for Ottawa, which took a 1-0 lead.

The Senators scored on the power play 7:33 into the game when Dominik Kubalik, with his first goal in 20 games, deflected a Jake Sanderson point shot past Kings goalie Cam Talbot, a Senator last season.

A few seconds after Talbot robbed Tim Stutzle with a diving glove save, the Kings got a goal from Quinton Byfield, drafted one spot ahead of Stutzle in the 2020 NHL Draft.

“That was the save of the game,” said Senators goalie Joonas Korpisalo. “It was ridiculous.”

Fifteen seconds later, Brady Tkachuk gave Ottawa a 2-1 lead with his 27th goal of the season.

“You want to bounce back quickly,” said Martin. “We make a mistake and it’s in our net. We rebounded well.”

Korpisalo made his best stop of the night, a glove save, with a bit more than 11 minutes left in the third.

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On a delayed penalty call on Tkachuk, the Kings got a goal from Pierre-Luc Dubois with an extra attacker on the ice and 9:36 left in the third period.

Los Angeles took the lead for the first time with 8:14 left as a Jacob Moverare shot deflected off Tim Stutzle and past Korpisalo. It was Moverare’s first NHL goal.

The Senators tied it with 4:23 left on a one-timer by Drake Batherson.

Kevin Fiala fought off Ottawa defenders and spun around to backhand a shot past Korpisalo with two minutes left in overtime.

“We were there for the whole game,” said Korpisalo. “There were a couple of unfortunate bounces. At least we got a point, but it sucks not to win.”

SAYING GOODBYE: Tarasenko confirmed the Panthers were the only team he was willing to waive his no-trade clause to go to. Asked about the departure of the winger, Tkachuk said: “It was tough (to see him traded). Everyone knows the history; Vladdy was in St. Louis while I was growing up. I loved the way he played. He was my favourite player at the time, I had his jersey. Being able to play together the last little bit, it was a lot of fun. His family’s there, that’s what makes it so exciting. He’s a great guy, a great teammate.”

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LOOKING BACK: Asked about his team’s 2-1 loss in Anaheim Wednesday, Martin said: “We find ways to beat ourselves. We outshot them 30-16, we outchanced them 16-9. We have good chances, but we have breakdowns that cost us. Sometimes when we play a team like that, because we don’t lead by two or three goals, we get frustrated. We’ve gone through some ups and downs. We had a good stretch where there were a lot of good vibes around the team; we played with some passion and emotion. It seems like we lost that the past five games. We don’t have the same commitment. (Wednesday night), in the first period or two, our bottom lines were our best lines. Our better players have to be our better players.”

ICE CHIPS: Senators winger Mark Kastelic limped off the ice a bit more than five minutes in when he tumbled into the Kings net. He later returned … It was weird seeing former Senators head coach D.J. Smith on the Kings bench. He was hired as an assistant by Kings head coach Jim Hiller, who took over from fired Todd McLellan a bit more than two months ago … Injured defenceman Thomas Chabot and winger Matthew Highmore missed Thursday’s game. Both will be re-evaluated this week, but could also miss Saturday’s game in San Jose … A potential free agent, Kubalik is a candidate to be dealt Friday … Technical difficulties forced TSN to switch to the Kings’ TV feed during the second period. The local feed eventually returned.

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