The Ottawa Senators crept closer to a playoff berth with their fourth straight victory on Thursday night, 3-1 over the Washington Capitals.
With the eighth-place New York Rangers and the seventh-place New York Islanders also winning, the Senators needed the victory to keep their hold on sixth in the Eastern Conference.
Now only one point behind the fifth-place Toronto Maple Leafs, who lost to the Islanders, the Senators could leapfrog their Ontario rivals with a win here on Saturday night.
Might be a good night to lock Toronto fans out of the building.
Kyle Turris had two goals, one into an empty net with 1:27 left to seal the win, and Cory Conacher had one for the Senators, his second as a Senator.
Mike Ribeiro scored for the Capitals.
Craig Anderson didn’t have his busiest night of the season but was excellent in stopping 18 of 19 shots.
Braden Holtby faced 37 shots for the Capitals.
The Senators got out of the second period with a 2-1 lead but might have reasonably expected something better.
After outshooting the Capitals 11-4 in the first, they outshot them 16-8 in the second, and had some excellent chances, including one by Chris Neil that should make the highlight reels.
He did an expert imitation of Jason Spezza, sliding the puck through a surprised Capitals defenceman Mike Green for an open chance on Holtby.
Unluckily, he didn’t have Spezza’s ability to finish.