A couple of Red Wings fans brought posters and high hopes to the Sens game on Monday. Photo credit: Alex Lambert

The Ottawa Senators beat the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 on Monday as the race for a playoff spot heats up.

The Sens took a commanding stance in the standings as a result of the big win at the Canadian Tire Centre.

The stakes were high for the Senators, seven points out of a playoff wildcard position. Detroit’s placement ahead of Ottawa in the division forced the game into a must-win situation for both teams.

Fast-paced, rugged hockey didn’t provoke the referees, who let slashing and hooking go uncalled in between grisly hits.

Bailing out the team on defensive breakdowns, Senators’ goalie Cam Talbot batted shots away, surviving the early pressure.

While Detroit got several chances from stolen breakout passes, Ottawa fought back with authority on defence, not letting the Red Wings get close in the second and third periods.

Ottawa occupied the offensive zone with dominant passing plays throughout the first period, but the Senators found no upper hand on power-play opportunities.

Thomas Chabot was caught overextended after a quick pass by Pius Suter to give up a goal off Tyler Bertuzzi’s wrist shot midway through the first perriod.

Despite Ottawa’s defensive efforts clogging the lanes and pushing offence aside, David Perron buried one, making the score 2-1 and taking the lead back for Detroit.

The Sens’ power play came full circle in the second period, with Claude Giroux and Brady Tkachuk scoring on back-to-back penalties after failing to convert in the first.

Chabot scored a shorthanded goal over the goalies’ top blocker side, beginning the third by pushing the game further out of reach. Tim Stutzle buried a bomb top blocker-side to confirm the Senators’ win.

The Senators play the Red Wings again Tuesday night at home with hopes of gaining more leverage in the playoff standings.