SPORTS

Hoffman scores twice, Anderson stops 34 shots as Sens blank Wild

11/06/2014 10:11 EST | Updated 01/06/2015 05:59 EST
OTTAWA - Some nights are just more fun — and this was one of them for Craig Anderson.

The Ottawa Senators goaltender made 34 saves to blank the Minnesota Wild 3-0 Thursday night to pick up his second shutout of the season and 28th of his career.

Anderson, who earned the win Tuesday against Detroit as well, has looked relaxed of late and was often seen laughing and smiling after whistles as he spoke with teammates.

"It's easier to smile when you're winning by three goals," said Anderson. "When things are going well and you're winning (it's fun). The team just seemed to be throwing a lot of pucks at the net and you get a lot of whistles and freebie shots."

The Senators (7-3-2) got offensive contributions from Mike Hoffman, who scored twice, and Clarke MacArthur.

Niklas Backstrom made 14 saves in the loss for Minnesota (7-5-0).

The Senators remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss on home ice — which is impressive considering how much Ottawa struggled on home ice last season. The Senators are 4-0-2 on home ice.

"We definitely have more confidence at home," said MacArthur. "Whether we're feeding off the crowd or we're making good plays. We're playing the way we should play at home and winning games at home is going to be big for down the stretch."

Once again the Senators got some big contributions from its "kid" line — the trio of Hoffman, Mark Stone and Curtis Lazar.

"Shh don't tell anybody," joked Senators head coach Paul MacLean when asked about the line's success. "I thought again they provided a lot of energy and obviously they provided offense and let's just keep putting them out there."

The young line enjoys playing together and has been one of Ottawa's most consistent since being formed late last week.

"Since game one we feel like we clicked and we feel good playing with each other," said Hoffman. "Moving forward here we want to continue to improve and obviously the chemistry is there and I don't think teams really expect it too much so we kind of catch them a little bit."

The Wild have outshot their opponents in all 12 of their games this season, but have lost their past two.

Minnesota head coach Mike Yeo said not much should be made of that stat.

"I think that our team game gives us a chance to do that," said Yeo. "I do feel that there are some guys that are going right now and I do know that there are some other guys who could give us more. I feel like there are some guys that are doing the minimum, the minimum as far as playing the system. You've got to do those things that are expected of everybody, but then you've got to bring a little something extra on top of that and I think that's one thing that's missing right now."

Hoffman made it 3-1 at 2:06 of the third period with his second goal of the night in front of 16,867 at Canadian Tire Place. Stone, who extended his point streak (2-3) to five games, found Hoffman all alone and he fired a shot that easily beat Backstrom.

Despite just four shots on goal in the second the Senators managed to score on two of them.

MacArthur scored his team-leading seventh of the season on the power play at 2:23 to open the scoring. Erik Karlsson found Bobby Ryan down low and he made a quick pass to MacArthur, who beat Backstrom short side from just outside the crease.

Just over two minutes later Ottawa made it 2-0 as Backstrom allowed Hoffman's shot to trickle through his pads.

The Wild had a number of chances, but Anderson was unbeatable. The Senators goaltender made two huge saves on the same power play, Jason Zucker hit the post on what would have been a sure goal and then Anderson made a glove save on Thomas Vanek.

"Andy played great for us," said MacArthur. "We tried to give him a couple, but he was there to make some good saves in the second and in the third too he made a couple great saves."

Anderson was just as good in the first period when the Senators were outshot 9-5.

Ottawa had two great chances to open the scoring as it had back-to-back power plays, but was unable to register a single shot on goal on either opportunity.

Notes: The Senators will be without D Marc Methot (back, indefinite) and D Chris Phillips (lower body, day-to-day). RW Erik Condra and LW Colin Greening were healthy scratches for Ottawa. The Wild were without LW Zach Parise (lower body, day-to-day), LW Matt Cooke (lower body, indefinite), D Jared Spurgeon (shoulder, indefinite), D Keith Ballard (flu, indefinite). D Jonathan Blum was a healthy scratch. RW Justin Fontaine celebrates his 27th birthday Thursday.

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