NEWARK, N.J. – Craig Anderson made 33 saves in his third shutout of the season, and the Ottawa Senators sent the sliding New Jersey Devils to their ninth straight loss with a 2-0 victory Friday night.
Jean-Gabriel Pageau and Milan Michalek had second-period goals for the Senators, who won for the second straight night, following a five-game skid, to boost their playoff chances.
Ottawa, in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, lead ninth-place Winnipeg by four points. New Jersey is 10th, eight points behind Ottawa and four behind the New York Rangers and the postseason cutoff with seven games to play.
The Senators will finish a season-high, seven-game trip at Boston on Monday. They will then play five of their final six at home, where they are 13-3-3.
The defending East champion Devils dropped to 0-5-4 without injured star forward Ilya Kovalchuk.
Kovalchuk appears close to returning to the lineup, but it might be too late for the Devils. Their skid began when he sustained a shoulder injury on March 23 against Florida.
As has been the case in recent weeks, New Jersey seemed to control the territorial play and the shot count, but it didn’t help produce any goals.
Despite outshooting the Senators 23-9 in the opening 40 minutes and getting an early two-man advantage for the second straight game, the Devils trailed 2-0 heading into the third period.
Pageau, called up from Binghamton of the AHL on Wednesday, earned an assist that night in the win at Philadelphia and scored his first NHL goal in his second game.
Erik Condra intercepted a pass around the boards and tried to center it from deep in the right corner. The puck deflected off Devils center Andrei Loktionov, and went right to Colin Greening between the circles.
Greening sent a backhander toward goalie Martin Brodeur, and Pageau came out from behind the net and tipped the puck over Brodeur’s shoulder at 3:08.
It was the Senators’ first legitimate shot on goal after they had three in the first period.
Michalek, who had missed the previous 15 games and 25 of 27 because of injuries, scored his third goal of the season.
The Devils had chances to get back into it.
Steve Sullivan was stopped by Anderson early on a shot from between the circles and then had a rebound hit off the post seconds later. Zidlicky had a couple of shots on the two-man advantage in the first period that lasted for 1:24, and Matt D’Agostini was stopped on a good chance from between the circles.
BLACKHAWKS 3, RED WINGS 2: Brandon Saad scored in the fifth round of the shootout after Jonathan Toews tied the game late in regulation, and Chicago clinched the Central Division title.
BLUE JACKETS 4, BLUES 1: Cam Atkinson had a goal and an assist, and Sergei Bobrovsky made 31 saves as host Columbus snapped St. Louis’ season-high, six-game winning streak.
Artem Anisimov, Ryan Johansen and Marian Gaborik also had goals for Columbus.
STARS 5, PREDATORS 2: Rookie Alex Chiasson scored two goals, and Dallas won its fourth straight win as it tries to keep its improbable playoff hopes alive.
AVALANCHE: Retired defenseman Adam Foote will have his No. 52 jersey raised to the rafters sometime next season, joining those of Joe Sakic (19), Peter Forsberg (21), Patrick Roy (33) and Ray Bourque (77).
SABRES: Defenseman Tyler Myers will miss the rest of the season after breaking a bone in his leg Thursday during a 5-1 loss to Montreal.