Sharks collapse late against Senators

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press via APThe Sharks' Logan Couture skates away from a celebration between the Senators' Mika Zibanejad

Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press via APThe Sharks' Logan Couture skates away from a celebration between the Senators' Mika Zibanejad

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 — 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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