Lettieri nets 3rd-period winner, Minnesota gets 2 key points with 3-2 win over Ottawa

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Vinni Lettieri scored the winning goal with just under seven minutes to play and the Minnesota Wild beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Tuesday night to earn a crucial two points and keep their faint playoff hopes alive.

Mason Shaw scored for the first time in more than a year, Matt Boldy had a goal, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 30 saves for the Wild, who are six points behind the Los Angeles Kings for the second Western Conference wild-card spot with eight games to play.

“The big thing is we came out with the two points. We got some depth scoring. Lots of things to clean up but to find a way to win was obviously the most important thing here coming down the stretch,” coach John Hynes said.

Lettieri and Shaw are on the Wild’s fourth line with Jacob Lucchini. The trio entered with five goals combined in 84 games.

“Obviously, we’re not going to get as many chances as Kirill (Kaprizov)’s line, or like those guys do, but when we have our chances, we just try to keep the momentum going and try to capitalize,” Lettieri said.

Drake Batherson and Jakob Chychrun each had a power-play goal and an assist and Joonas Korpisalo made 17 saves, but the Senators five-game winning streak came to an end.

A scrum along the boards resulted in the puck popping out to Lettieri in front of the Ottawa net. His quick backhand swat beat Korpisalo for his first goal since Dec. 18.

“When you look at the goals they got we beat ourselves,” said Ottawa coach Jacques Martin.

Ottawa was 2 for 3 with the man advantage, the second of those early in the third period when Batherson feathered a pass to Chychrun wide open on the backside to make it 2-2.

Tim Stützle had the second assist on the goal. With 18 goals and 52 assists, he is the first player in Senators history with multiple 70-point seasons at age 22 or younger, according to NHL Stats.

Shaw gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead midway through the first period.

A stride behind a couple of defenders down the slot, Shaw easily converted a pass from Zach Bogosian for his first goal since March 21, 2023. However, it’s only been a 17-game goal drought because just over a year ago Shaw tore his ACL for the fourth time. He returned to the Wild lineup March 2.

“I thought about it quite a bit in the last week. I mean, for it to be, what 366 (days) today? That one felt good and I’m in a lot better spirits this time than I was a year ago today,” Shaw said. “… Obviously getting a win makes everything feel better and something I look back on really proud of what it took to get to this point.”

Boldy converted a feed from Kaprizov 49 seconds into the middle period for a 2-0 lead. Moments after Stützle hit the post, Batherson scored about seven minutes later to get the Senators within one.

Ottawa played the last two periods one player short because left wing Angus Crookshank sustained a lower-body injury in the first period. He’ll be re-evaluated when the team gets home.

Wild forward Ryan Hartman sat out the first game of his three-game suspension for throwing his stick toward the officials after overtime in Saturday’s loss to Vegas.

UP NEXT

Senators: Host Florida Thursday night.

Wild: Host Colorado Thursday night.

__

AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL

Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.