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Erik Karlsson has overtime winner as Ottawa Senators edge Vancouver Canucks 4-3

12/07/2014 09:59 EST | Updated 02/06/2015 05:59 EST
OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators let out a collective sigh of relief Sunday night.

The Senators defeated the Vancouver Canucks 4-3 in overtime to snap a five-game losing streak— scoring four unanswered goals to come from behind and secure the win.

Erik Karlsson scored the game winner at 1:21 of the extra period, but Mika Zibanejad was the biggest contributor scoring twice and picking up two assists.

"(The win) was very important and the way we won too," said Zibanejad. "To come back from 3-0 and being down that early and I think we can build on this. It shows what kind of character we have on this team."

David Legwand also scored for Ottawa as Craig Anderson made 30 saves

"Things didn't exactly go our way at the start, but I thought that we stuck to it and actually came back with a push," said Senators coach Paul MacLean. "It was a very good push that was led with Chris Neil, Craig Anderson in the net and the play of Mika Zibanejad, Bobby Ryan and Mike Hoffman."

Radim Vrbata, Kevin Bieksa and Brad Richardson scored for Vancouver (18-9-1) as Eddie Lack stopped 41 shots.

This marks just the second time this season the Canucks have lost back-to-back games and is the first time on the road.

"I don't think we played very well to be honest," said Richardson. "They were a lot more desperate than us."

Ottawa referred to a fight between Chris Neil and Derek Dorsett early in the second period as a turning point in the game.

"I thought (Neil) showed that we're not just going to go away," said MacLean. "We're here, we're at home. You got it 2-0 and you guys got a break here and made a good play on another one, but we're here and we're going to play. I think he really showed his teammates that we're here to play and we're here to compete and we needed to start doing it."

Dorsett was less than impressed with Neil and didn't mince words after the game.

"The first period he asked me to fight and I tell him, 'no I've got a bad hand,' and he keeps coming after me and finally I fight him," said Dorsett. "It's a pretty even fight and then I fall down, he gets two punches in and the refs in there so it's just uncalled for and then he does the junior move and starts waving on their fans. It's Chris Neil in a nutshell."

Things looked bleak for the Senators (11-11-5) when the Canucks took a 3-0 lead early in the second as Richardson took advantage of a Chris Phillips giveaway and walked in to beat Anderson.

Ottawa's comeback bid started midway through the second as Legwand scored a power-play goal at 10:54.

Zibanejad made it 3-2 at 14:12 of the second as he picked up his own rebound and banked it in off Yannick Weber.

He completed the comeback with just over one minute remaining in the period as he took a pass from Bobby Ryan, who had three assists on the night, and beat Lack off his backhand.

Zibanejad, who had been a healthy scratch for two games two weeks ago, now has four goals and three assists in his past four games.

"I think after those two games that I didn't play it was more of a message to dictate and play with instinct and I think I took that to heart and it's something I've been working on," said Zibanejad. "It's coming more and more and obviously confidence is a big part of it, but I think playing on instinct and not thinking and not waiting around for anything that kind of helps it out too."

Vancouver opened the scoring at 6:10 of the first as Vrbata showed great skill and patience as he had a nice deke to get around Anderson and score into an open net.

Just over one minute later Bieksa made it 2-0 as his shot from just inside the blue-line made it through traffic.

Mark Stone returned to the lineup after missing one game after taking a puck to the ankle against the Islanders last Thursday.

The Canucks wrap-up their seven-game road trip Tuesday against the Montreal Canadiens, while the Senators are off until Thursday when they host the Los Angeles Kings.

Notes: D Marc Methot was a late scratch. The Senators were without D Patrick Wiercioch (muscle strain), LW Milan Michalek (upper body, day-to-day) and G Robin Lehner (knee, day-to-day). C Colin Greening and C Zack Smith were healthy scratches. The Canucks were without C Shawn Matthias (head, day-to-day). D Frank Corrado and LW Tom Sestito were a healthy scratch.

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