Alive, but barely.

This is no April Fool’s joke, the Senators moved to within four points of the final wild card spot in the East with a 2-1 shootout victory over the Carolina Hurricanes Monday night.

Winger Ales Hemsky scored the winner in the skills competion as the Senators won three straight for the only the second time this season and for the first time since Jan. 2.

While it will still take a monumental effort for the Senators to get to the playoffs with seven games left, they at least sent the 16,732 at the Canadian Tire Centre home happy with the victory.

Neither Craig Anderson, who made 30 stops in 65 minutes, or Carolina’s Cam Ward, who faced 28 shots, were tested a whole heck of a lot. The Senators passed up on a lot of good chances.

Anderson stopped all three shooters.

Mika Zibanejad scored in regulation for the Senators while Jeff Skinner replied for the Hurricanes. That’s where the offence stopped as the two teams had to play extra time to try to settle this.

The overtime period settled nothing.

It wasn’t pretty by any stretch of the imagination. Don’t let anybody try to tell you it different. The Senators tried to push the pace, but both teams looked like they wanted to keep it low scoring.

The Senators did hold the Hurricanes to 0-for-3 on the power play, however, Carolina looked terrible with the man advantage and had only one shot on Anderson that came early in the third.

Coach Paul MacLean noted before the game the Senators have a little bit more confidence in their room.

“hen you play better things tend to go your way a little bit so I think our game has been more consistent and we’ve sustained it longer, though the past two second periods have been a little suspect,” said MacLean.

“For the most part we’re getting more comfortable being in the lead and our third periods have been very good and we’ve been able to close the game out. Especially (SundaYp, I thought that was the best effort we’ve had in the third period in a while. The more times you do it, the better you get at it.”