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Tarasenko scores game winner as Senators beat Sharks for first win of 2024

Ottawa Senators celebrate Ottawa Senators celebrate - The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — There was no denying the huge sense of relief from the Ottawa Senators.

Thanks to Vladimir Tarasenko’s game-winning goal with 3.3 seconds remaining in regulation time, the Senators were able to snap a five-game losing streak and pick up a 5-4 win over the San Jose Sharks.

Despite being outplayed in the third, the Sharks (10-30-3) managed to tie the game with just over three minutes remaining with a goal from Filip Zadina and it looked like the game was headed to overtime.

With time winding down the Senators managed to hem the Sharks deep in their end. Tarasenko shoved Justin Bailey, who bumped into Mackenzie Blackwood, allowing Tarasenko to pick up Artem Zub’s rebound and find the back of the net.

The goal was reviewed for goaltender interference, but the call on the ice stood.

“I’m not going to lie; winning is nice,” said Tarasenko. “First of all, we shouldn’t have allowed the (tying) goal. We should make sure the puck is out and it doesn’t get to this nervous situation where you’re scoring at the end. It’s very nice to win a game.”

It was yet another deflating loss for the Sharks, who have struggled all year.

“We were fighting all night to battle back and getting that last one late to tie the game, obviously we wanted to get it to overtime to at least get a point,” said Bailey.

“For me we kind of got caught out there and I took like a half second to look for where my guy was and at that point I got hit into our goalie and the puck squirted right out to him so, obviously, it’s a tough way to lose.”

Coming off a road trip that saw them go 0-5-0 the Senators were relieved to finally pick up the first win of the calendar year.

“It’s huge,” said Drake Batherson, who had a goal and assist. “To finally get a win feels good. A little nerve-racking there when they had to go upstairs for the last goal, but we’ll take any win we can get at this point.”

Claude Giroux, Thomas Chabot and Brady Tkachuk also scored for Ottawa (15-23-0), while Joonas Korpisalo turned away 15 shots. Tim Stutzle had four assists.

“I thought we had a great effort; we played very well,” said Ottawa interim head coach Jacques Martin. “We’ve just got to keep learning about managing the puck better, recognizing situations.

" … It was well deserved. We had lots of shots and I thought we were better as far as going to the net and carrying the play.”

There was some upside for the Sharks as they had contributions from a number of players who had struggled offensively of late.

Anthony Duclair, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, Kevin Labanc and Filip Zadina scored for the Sharks. Mackenzie Blackwood stopped 36 shots.

“It’s obviously a tough ending for us,” said Zadina. “We had been battling the whole game and played hard. It hurts but you have to play the full 60 minutes, not play 59 whatever, just have to play for 60 minutes.”

Blackwood was the difference for the Sharks, specifically in the second when the Senators outshot the visitors 22-4.

“He’s been outstanding,” said Sharks coach David Quinn. “He’s been outstanding all year and, you know, I’m just really, really disappointed because we did a lot of good things in Montreal and didn’t follow it up tonight.”

Trailing 2-1 the Sharks tied things early in the second. San Jose broke in on a 2-on-1 and Vlasic, who was the trailer, beat Korpisalo for his first of the season. Less than three minutes later the Sharks took the lead on Labanc’s second of the season.

Ottawa tied the game on Tkachuk’s 18th of the year and Batherson gave Ottawa the lead scoring on a Jakob Chychrun rebound.

The Senators led 2-1 after the first on goals from Giroux and Chabot.

Duclair cut the lead in half with a shot from the slot midway through the period.


Senators C Josh Norris missed his second straight game, G Anton Forsberg (groin) isn’t expected back until after the NHL All-Star break. Mads Sogaard from AHL Belleville was recalled. Rourke Chartier returned to the lineup after missing the last 12 games. Jacob Bernard-Docker was a healthy scratch. … San Jose’s Ty Emberson returned to San Jose for further evaluation with an undisclosed injury. The defenceman is considered out week-to-week.


Senators: Host the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.

Sharks: Head to Buffalo to take on the Sabres Monday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2024.