Pinto scores in 5th consecutive game to help propel streaking Senators over Stars
Hellberg makes 29 saves in season debut as Ottawa wins 4th straight contest
One man's misfortune is another man's big break. Such was the case for Magnus Hellberg on Monday.
After starting netminder Anton Forsberg was ruled out of the game due to injury, Hellberg came in to make just the third start of his NHL career. The first came almost nine years ago to the day.
All Hellberg did on Monday was make 29 saves as the Senators defeated the Dallas Stars 4-2.
"I have that inner drive to play at the best level and I feel that I can play in this league as a full-time job. Obviously I'm really happy that it worked out this summer and that I'm able to play in this league."
Brady Tkachuk had a goal and an assist, while Shane Pinto scored in his fifth consecutive game in the win.
WATCH | Tkachuk shows off strength on goal:
"It's just going in for me right now. It's getting pretty lucky but I'm just happy we found a way to win that one. That was another mature win by us and we just have to keep it rolling," said Pinto, who is the first Senators' rookie to score in five straight games.
Derick Brassard also scored in his season debut giving the Senators a 4-1 lead. Thomas Chabot had the other goal as the Senators (4-2-0) won for the fourth straight time.
Special teams key in victory
The Senators were perfect on the penalty kill shutting down the Stars on their three chances. Killing those penalties was huge according to Senators coach DJ Smith.
"I thought our penalty kill was the difference and it settled us down. We started getting composure, got a little more emotionally involved and physical," he said.
"We understand how hard we have to work in a game to get to the third period and not be down. I thought we worked really hard in the second to set that up," Smith said.
Tkachuk had given the Senators a 2-1 lead five minutes into the third before Pinto made it 3-1 just under six minutes later.
Pinto with the steal and the score for goal no. 5️⃣ on the year! 🚨<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/GoSensGo?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#GoSensGo</a> <a href="https://t.co/bioGj1RG3J">pic.twitter.com/bioGj1RG3J</a>—@Senators
Joel Kivirianta scored at 6:31 of the first period and Wyatt Johnston scored late in the third to cut the Senators lead to 4-2. The Stars (4-1-1) recorded the first eight shots of the game as they came out hard at Hellberg, who had only made two previous NHL starts.
"I liked our start. I thought we came out of the gate really good. I thought as the game wore on, their commitment and energy increased and ours decreased, so we'll have to look at why," said Stars coach Peter DeBoer.
The Stars maintained their 1-0 lead late into the second period before Chabot ripped a point shot past Wedgewood at 19:23 of the period while the Senators were enjoying their third power play of the period.
Wedgewood was a wall stopping all 22 shots he faced up to that point. Hellberg was just as impressive at the other end of the ice with 20 saves as the game went into the third tied 1-1.
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