OTTAWA -– Mika Zibanejad scored twice and Alex Chiasson got the game-winner as Ottawa stormed back to beat the Sharks at Canadian Tire Center on Monday, 5-2.
The Sharks led 2-1 after the second period, but Zibanejad’s second of the night tied it early in the third. He managed to strip Chris Tierney of the puck near the front of the net, and found space high over Antti Niemi at 2:19.
Chiasson, who had numerous chances throughout the night, redirected a Mark Stone shot after a defensive zone giveaway by Logan Couture to give the Senators the lead back at 12:11.
Just over a minute later, Jean-Gabriel Pageau finished off an odd-man rush in making it 4-2, essentially putting out any flicker of hope that San Jose had of making it to the postseason. A late Mike Hoffman empty-netter capped the scoring.
San Jose fell to 1-3 on its seven-game road trip, which featured a win over the lowly Toronto Maple Leafs but losses in Winnipeg, Montreal and now Ottawa.
The Senators remain one of the hottest teams in hockey, improving to 15-1-1 in their last 17 and jumping over Boston into playoff position in the Eastern Conference.
Goaltender Andrew Hammond, who has taken the league by storm since he was recalled in late January, improved to 14-0-1 on the season with 29 saves.
Bobby Ryan had three assists, while Hoffman (1g, 2a) also had a three-point night for Ottawa.
The Sharks scored the only two goals of the second period to seize a 2-1 advantage.
The first came on the power play. Joe Pavelski dove towards the net to poke in a Brent Burns rebound at 12:47. That ended a streak of more than 112 scoreless minutes for San Jose, which was shut out in Montreal on Thursday.
It took just 27 seconds to get a second, though. On a two-on-one rush with Tierney, Tommy Wingels centered the puck to the charging rookie. Tierney had a bit of trouble accepting the pass, but stayed with it and backhanded in his third of the season at 13:17.
Earlier in the frame when it was still a 1-0 Ottawa lead, Wingels came to the aid of Niemi about seven minutes into the second period. A Chiasson shot was about to trickle across the line off of Niemi, but Wingels managed to lift it out just in time to keep the Sharks within reach.
Ottawa won the only previous meeting between the two teams at SAP Center on Feb. 28, 4-2.
San Jose had won its previous four games in Ottawa, losing for the first time here since Dec. 19, 2002.
Each team had just one power play, with the Sharks converting on their only chance and killing off their only penalty.
That penalty came when the three-on-one Sharks rush was blown dead at 16:28 of the second period, after Braun was called for interference behind the play.
San Jose is 10-for-35 on the power play in its last 12 games.
Niemi fell to 28-22-7 on the season. He made his 13th start in the last 14 games as he likely plays out his final few weeks in a Sharks sweater.
Hammond has beaten the Sharks twice, including 28 saves on 30 shots on Feb. 28.
The Sharks made just one lineup change, inserting John Scott back in for Daniil Tarasov, who only played 4:29 in Montreal.
Among Ottawa’s scratches was former Sharks forward Milan Michalek, who was hit hard in the previous game in Toronto.
The Sharks will continue their road trip in Detroit on Thursday in their only appearance at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings beat San Jose at SAP Center on Feb. 26, 3-2.
A Saturday matinee in Philadelphia followed by a Sunday night game in Pittsburgh follow. The Sharks return home on April 1 to host Colorado.