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NHL: Ottawa 4, Carolina 3 (SO)

OTTAWA, April 1 (UPI) -- Alex Kovalev and Jason Spezza scored shootout goals Thursday that gave the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win over Carolina and a spot in the playoffs.

The Senators returned to the playoffs after missing out in 2009 for only the second time in 13 seasons.

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Ottawa became the fifth team in the Eastern Conference to wrap up a post-season berth and has 91 points, three behind fourth-place New Jersey.

Brian Elliott was perfect in the shootout after stopping 28-of-31 shots in regulation and overtime. The Senators got into the overtime when Erik Karlsson scored his second goal of the contest with just 8 seconds remaining in the third period.

Brandon Sutter, Jamie McBain and Chad Larose each had a goal for the Hurricanes, who had won three of their previous four. Manny Legace made 32 saves.

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