Slumping Senators drop fourth game in a row, fall 4-2 to Winnipeg

Jets beat Senators for fourth win in a row

WINNIPEG — Mathieu Perreault knows it’s too late to make a difference for Winnipeg, but he’s not throwing in the towel.

The Jets forward scored the game-winner in a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators Saturday that gave Winnipeg its first four-game win streak of the season.

“We just don’t quit,” Perreault said of another come-from-behind win.

“I wish we would’ve done it earlier in the season, but it’s nice to get those wins now and get that good feeling in the room and knowing that we can do it and build on that.”

Perreault took a pass from Bryan Little at 7:46 of the third period and fired a shot past goalie Mike Condon, who had Jets forward Patrik Laine standing in front of him with the screen, to make it 3-2.

It was Perreault’s third game-winning goal of the season for the club that was eliminated from the playoffs last week. He’s posted eight goals and 15 assists in his past 20 games.

With Condon pulled for an extra attacker and just over a minute left, Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck whipped out his glove to snag a Kyle Turris blast, preserving the victory.

Blake Wheeler, Adam Lowry and Nikolaj Ehlers, into an empty net, also scored for Winnipeg. Little and Jacob Trouba each picked up a pair of assists.

Laine got an assist on Ehlers’ empty-net goal with 25 second remaining to give him 34 goals and 62 points.

It was Ottawa’s fourth straight loss (0-3-1) and leaves the club tied with the Maple Leafs for second in the Atlantic Division with 91 points. Both teams have five regular-season games remaining.

Mike Hoffman scored twice for the Senators to give him 25 goals on the season.

The Senators lost another defenceman when Cody Ceci left with a lower-body injury in the second period. He joins injured captain Erik Karlsson (lower body), who missed his second straight game, and fellow blue liner Mark Methot.

“He won’t play next game,” Ottawa coach Guy Boucher said of Ceci. “We’re going to have to recall somebody for sure.”

He was asked if there was any chance Karlsson could play Monday in Detroit.

“We’re going to need some more candles at church to be lit up for sure,” Boucher replied.

“Hopefully, (Karlsson’s injury) takes less time than more, but in the end if he’s not there, we’re going to play with the guys who are there and we’re going to have to battle through and find ways to scratch some points and go through it.”

Hellebuyck made 29 saves for the Jets (37-35-7). Condon had 24 stops for the Senators (41-27-9), who were playing the fourth game in a season-high, five-game road trip.

Hoffman said they’ve got to play with the cards they’re dealt.

“Obviously, the injuries aren’t what we need right now, but we can’t really control those things so we’re going to have to figure out a way to come around,” he said.

Hoffman scored the opening goal at 16:15 of the first with a high blast. His second of the night went off Little’s stick to make it 2-1 at 3:40 of the second. Lowry tied it up seven minutes later.

Ottawa went into the game winning all six games played at MTS Centre since the Jets return to Winnipeg for the 2011-12 season.

Jets coach Paul Maurice was glad his players weren’t coasting until their season ends April 8.

“You’ve got to come to the rink and you’ve got to play hard, because that’s your job regardless, and we’ve done that,” Maurice said.

Winnipeg starts a two-game road trip Tuesday in St. Louis.

Judy Owen, The Canadian Press