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Staal’s 2 goals help Wild rally past Senators 6-4

December 20, 2017

Minnesota Wild's Chris Stewart, center, and Nate Prosser celebrate a goal as Ottawa Senators' Erik Karlsson skates past during second period NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press via AP)

OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — The slumping Minnesota Wild looked a little more like a Western Conference contender by the end of Tuesday night.

Eric Staal scored twice, Nate Prosser had a goal and an assist and the Wild rallied from a two-goal deficit to beat the Ottawa Senators 6-4.

Minnesota had lost two straight and trailed 3-1 in the second period after giving up two goals to Erik Karlsson and another to Jean-Gabriel Pageau. Chris Stewart and Mikko Koivu scored to tie it before the second intermission, and then Prosser, Jonas Brodin and Staal scored for the Wild in the final period.

“We kind of felt our confidence build up. We were down 3-1 and our bench didn’t get down. Guys were building each other up and we got that next goal which was huge,” Prosser said.

Alex Stalock had 28 saves for Minnesota, and Ryan Suter and Charlie Coyle each added two assists.

Craig Anderson had 34 saves for the Senators, and Derick Brassard also scored.

“I don’t think we played poorly. I think they did a good job for long periods grinding us down and we got tired,” Karlsson said. “Sometimes when you get tired you make the wrong decision and we couldn’t find an answer to push back.”

Prosser’s first goal of the season at 1:48 of the third. Brodin scored on his own rebound five minutes into the third, and Staal scored on the power play at 16:39 for a 6-3 lead before Brassard scored on the power play for the Senators at 18:34.

Karlsson scored his second goal of the game at 1:08 of the second on the power play, beating Stalock with a shot from the point. Pageau gave the Senators a 3-1 at 5:44 following a no-look pass from behind the net by Tom Pyatt.

“I think we played two good first periods and when you go out to the third (basically) 0-0 against a good team at home you’re feeling good,” Pageau said. “They played better than us in the third. They came out harder and it was little details that made the difference. Their goalie did an outstanding job and kept them in the game.”

After Stewart got the Wild to within a goal just past the halfway point of the period, Stalock kept it a one-goal game when he stopped Nate Thompson on a short-handed breakaway and then Pyatt on the rebound.

Koivu tied it at 19:05 when he tipped a point shot from Suter past Anderson just as a penalty to Senators defenseman Cody Ceci expired.

The teams each scored once in the opening period with Karlsson sending a point shot through Stalock who had two players screening him just 2:08 into the game. The Wild got that one back at 11:11 when Suter took a shot that was going wide before hitting Staal in the midsection and redirecting through Anderson’s legs.

NOTES: Gabriel Dumont and Ben Harpur were scratches for Ottawa while Gustav Olofsson, Zack Mitchell and Devan Dubnyk were scratches for the Wild. ... Senators F Alex Burrows is one assist shy of 200 for his career. ... The Wild had killed 19 straight penalties before Karlsson scored on the Senators’ first power-play attempt.

UP NEXT

Minnesota: Plays the third of four straight on the road Friday night at Florida.

Ottawa: Plays its next three games on the road, including Thursday night at Tampa Bay.

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