Anton Forsberg made 24 saves, including a penalty shot, and had an assist for the Ottawa Senators in a 2-1 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild at Avicii Arena in Stockholm on Saturday in the third game of the 2023 NHL Global Series Sweden presented by Fastenal.
Forsberg lifts Senators to shootout win against Wild at Global Series
Sweden native stops penalty shot, has assist for Ottawa, which hands Minnesota 4th straight loss
The Senators (8-7-0) won their third straight game and second in Sweden following a 5-4 overtime victory against the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday.
"We're in a spot where we need to win every game now to get back on track and it was a good trip to get the group together," Forsberg, a native of Harnosand, Sweden, said. "I think we've done it pretty well with having team dinners and stuff. The guys have had some fun and obviously with four points getting out of here, it couldn't have been better."
Marco Rossi scored, and Filip Gustavsson made 30 saves for the Wild (5-8-3), who have lost four in a row (0-3-1) and play the Toronto Maple Leafs in Sweden on Sunday in the final game of the Global Series.
"What are you going to do?" Minnesota coach Dean Evason said. "We play at 2 o'clock tomorrow, but it has to be positive and we believe it was. The group, they know they played hard, they played well. We didn't get the result which was disappointing, but the process is correct. You just have to keep doing it over and over again and believe that the process will allow you to have success."
Erik Brannstrom, a native of Eksjo, Sweden, scored for Ottawa. It was his first goal of the season in his 200th NHL game.
"That's the way we have to play to give ourselves a chance every night, away from the puck," Senators coach D.J. Smith said. "I thought our defensive zone was as good as it's been. Our neutral zone, we broke the puck out, we did a lot of really good things. We ended up winning the game but even if we lost, I'd be up here saying the same thing. I thought as a group we were more connected and we looked a lot more organized tonight."
Forsberg stopped Marcus Johansson on a penalty shot at 3:38 of the second period to keep it 0-0. The shot was awarded when Brannstrom closed his hand on the puck in the goal crease.
"I think D.J. said it before the game that it was going to be a tight one and we were going to win 2-1, so I guess he knew something that we didn't tonight but it was a tight game," said Josh Norris, who scored the only goal of the shootout. "There wasn't a ton of room out there. They play hard and Forsberg made a lot of good saves, and we got two points so it was a good win."
Gustavsson, a native of Skelleftea, Sweden, has not won in his past five games since defeating the Edmonton Oilers 7-4 on Oct. 24. He had allowed 17 goals against in his past four games, but Evason said he thought Gustavsson showed improvement.
"Gustavsson was real good," Evason said. "When he had to be, he was there. I agree, he looked very calm, wasn't out of position and most of the saves were smothered. He definitely looked more like himself for sure."
Rossi gave the Wild a 1-0 lead at 6:22 of the second when he deflected Brock Faber's point shot at the top of the goal crease.
Brannstrom tied it 1-1 at 3:22 of the third period when he took a slap shot from the top of the left face-off circle after getting a stretch pass from Forsberg in the neutral zone, who got an assist.
"It's a set play by us," Brannstrom joked. "No, it's not. It was a good pass by him, so it was nice to see it go in."
Gustavsson said the focus must shift to putting forward a similar effort against Toronto on Sunday.
"We're here to get four points," Gustavsson said. "We're one point down, so we have to get another two tomorrow."
Minnesota was coming off an 8-3 loss to the Dallas Stars on Nov. 12 in which they allowon five power-play goals and two short-handed goals. The penalty kill was 4-for-4 Saturday.
"For sure, this is a big step forward," Wild forward Marcus Foligno said. "It kind of starts with the penalty kill doing a good job. It just was more of a smarter game, straight lines and not trying to give teams momentum with our bad puck management, so we did a lot better job."
NOTES: Ottawa is 5-0-1 all-time in regular-season games that have taken place outside of North America. ... The Wild were without forward Ryan Hartman, who did not play because of an illness. Evason said he was not sure if Hartman would be available Sunday. … Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun played his 400th NHL game.