Drake Batherson scored a goal and added an assist while goaltender Matt Murray collected his second shutout of the season to give the visiting Ottawa Senators a 3-0 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday.
Tim Stutzle and Connor Brown also scored for the Senators, who received a 31-save performance from Murray for his second shutout in three outings and the 13th of his career. Three of his shutouts have come against the Canucks, the only team he has blanked more than once.
Goaltender Thatcher Demko stopped 22 shots for Vancouver (18-19-3, 39 points), which saw its two-game winning streak end. The Canucks lost for the first time since their season was paused more than three weeks due to a COVID-19 outbreak that affected nearly everyone on the roster.
Vancouver, which has 16 games remaining in the regular season, is sixth in the North Division, 10 points back of the fourth-place Montreal Canadiens but with four games in hand.
The Senators (17-26-4, 36 points) are last in the division but will look to build on their three-game winning streak when they meet the Canucks again on Saturday. Both teams will head to Ottawa right after for another pair of clashes.
Vancouver won the teams' first five meetings this season, but Ottawa's pair of first-period power-play goals were the difference.
Stutzle scored at 9:17 of the opening period to extend his point streak to three games. The highly touted rookie set up shop in the slot during the man advantage and deflected in Nick Paul's point shot.
The Senators have scored a power-play goal in six consecutive games for the first time since November 2015.
Batherson doubled the lead with his 16th goal of the season in what's been a breakout campaign. Josh Norris sent a pass to the front of the net that ricocheted off a defender's skate to Batherson at the doorstep, and he buried the golden chance at 15:57 for his third tally in as many games.
From there, the Senators tightened up defensively to help Murray's shutout quest. Murray's biggest save came on a Matthew Highmore deflection early in the second period.
Brown's empty-net goal with 90 seconds remaining rounded out the scoring. He has 11 goals in his past 12 games and 17 on the season.
The Canucks will receive a boost in Saturday's clash, as veteran defenseman Alexander Edler is eligible to return from a two-game suspension.
--Field Level Media