Sharks collapse late against Senators 

click to enlarge The Sharks' Logan Couture skates away from a celebration between the Senators' Mika Zibanejad, center, and teammate Mike Hoffman. - SEAN KILPATRICK/CANADIAN PRESS VIA AP
  • Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press via AP
  • The Sharks' Logan Couture skates away from a celebration between the Senators' Mika Zibanejad, center, and teammate Mike Hoffman.

OTTAWA, Ontario — Mika Zibanejad scored twice, and the Ottawa Senators moved into an Eastern Conference playoff position with a 5-2 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday night.

The Senators (37-24-11) earned their seventh straight win and jumped one point ahead of the Boston Bruins for the second wild-card spot in the East with a game in hand. Ottawa is above the postseason cutoff for the first time since late November.

Alex Chiasson, Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Mike Hoffman, with an empty-net goal, also scored for Ottawa. Andrew Hammond, making his seventh straight start, stopped 29 shots and improved to 14-0-1 in his first 15 NHL starts.

Joe Pavelski and Chris Tierney scored for the Sharks. Antti Niemi made 32 saves.

The Senators scored four unanswered goals in the third period â€" two within a span of 1:12.

Zibanejad tied it 2-2 with his second goal of the game at 2:19 of the third. Zibanejad took a pass from Bobby Ryan and roofed a shot over Niemi.

After being stonewalled on numerous occasions, Chiasson solved Niemi at 12:11 of the third when he deflected in Mark Stone's shot. Pageau made it 4-2 at 13:23 after he and Erik Karlsson worked a give-and-go.

Hoffman finished the scoring with 1:23 left when he scored his 26th goal of the season.

Two quick goals allowed the Sharks, who were playing their third of six road games, to jump out to a 2-1 lead after two periods.

Pavelski tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 12:47 as he jumped on a rebound. Just 30 seconds later, Tierney gave San Jose the lead when he took a pass from Tommy Wingels and beat Hammond glove side.

Ottawa took a 1-0 lead with 5:51 left in the first period on Zibanejad's 18th goal. Hoffman shot a floater at the net that deflected in off Zibanejad's knee.

NOTES: C Zack Smith returned to Ottawa's lineup for the first time since dislocating his wrist on Feb. 13th. ... The Senators were without LW Matt Puempel (high ankle sprain) and LW Milan Michalek (undisclosed). D Jared Cowen was a healthy scratch. ... The Sharks were without Mike Brown (broken fibula) and Raffi Torres (knee). D Scott Hannan and C Daniil Tarasov were healthy scratches.

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