ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Alex Killorn scored the tiebreaking goal on a pass from rookie Olen Zellweger early in the third period of the Anaheim Ducks' third victory in four games, 2-1 over the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday night.

Ryan Strome also scored and Lukas Dostal made 29 saves for the Ducks in a meeting of two long-struggling franchises already playing out the string in seasons that will end in the extension of two playoff droughts stretching longer than a half-decade apiece. Both teams also traded veterans before the game, with Ottawa sending Vladimir Tarasenko to Florida and Anaheim shipping Adam Henrique and Sam Carrick to Edmonton.

The Ducks went ahead when Zellweger smartly found Killorn for a tip goal, his 10th of the season and his second in two games. Zellweger’s assist was the second in seven NHL games for the prized 20-year-old defenseman, a key component of Anaheim’s rebuilding plans.

“Feels good to get a tip-in goal,” Killorn said. “I like to get those, and that's how I've scored a lot in the past in Tampa. It's a good sign. ... (Zellweger) is a smart player, and he realized I had an open stick, and he just shot it there for a good redirect. Good job by him.”

Mark Kastelic scored and Mads Sogaard stopped 14 shots for the Senators, who lost their fifth straight overall in the opener of a three-game California swing. Ottawa had two golden chances to tie it in the final minute, but Dostal stopped Tim Stützle's impressive drive to the net and quickly slid over to block Jakob Chychrun's rebound shot.

“Frustrating is probably a good word to use,” Sogaard said. "We put a lot of pucks on net, especially in the last few minutes. Just didn't get the result we wanted. Every night you see guys working as hard as they can.

Dostal had 18 saves in the third period, extending his impressive three-game stretch to 110 saves on 116 shots.

“He's a young kid, but what I see is a guy that's incredibly competitive,” Anaheim coach Greg Cronin said of his 23-year-old Czech goalie. “He's a gamer. ... He might let one in early, like any goalie, but he's going to use that as a catalyst to get better.”

The depleted Ducks were without three of their top four scorers thanks to injuries and trades. They put AHL forwards Pavol Regenda and Glenn Gawdin into their lineup a few hours after trading two key veterans for two draft picks.

The Ducks held a brief team meeting before the game to recognize the impact of Henrique and Carrick, who will both be unrestricted free agents this summer.

“It's a difficult day,” Killorn said. “It's my first year (in Anaheim), but those two guys had such an impact on this team. It's tough to replace guys like that. You understand why Edmonton grabbed guys like that to help them on their run. It's going to be tough for us here, but we kind of understood that coming in that those guys might be gone.”

Anaheim also was without two-time All-Star forward Troy Terry, who was scratched 15 minutes before faceoff with an upper-body injury. The Ducks already were playing without injured forwards Mason McTavish, Leo Carlsson and Trevor Zegras, while goalie John Gibson has sat out three straight games during his usual spring stint on the trade block.

Ottawa went ahead just 2:44 in on a deflected goal for Arizona native Kastelic. Strome tied it early in the second, deflecting his 10th goal of the season off Jake Sanderson’s leg.

The Ducks are finishing up their sixth consecutive non-playoff season, while the Senators will miss the postseason for the seventh straight season. Despite the NHL's expansion to 32 teams necessarily leading to more markets being shut out of the playoff experience, commissioner Gary Bettman said before the game that his league has no interest in expanding its playoff format, as the NBA did in 2020.

“We like what we have, and we don’t want to dilute either the regular season or the playoffs,” Bettman said.

Bettman also said Anaheim is likely to get its first All-Star weekend or an outdoor game in a few years when the OCVibe entertainment complex is fully operational on the land surrounding Honda Center. Major construction began on the sprawling project last year, with a targeted completion date of 2028.

Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg played in his 800th NHL game. The Senators drafted Silfverberg in the second round in 2009 and traded him to Anaheim in July 2013, just 48 games into his career.


Senators: At Los Angeles on Thursday night.

Ducks: Host Dallas on Friday night.



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