Karlsson scored 1:21 into overtime to give the Senators a 4-3 victory over the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday night that snapped a five-game losing streak.
The Senators scored four unanswered goals to come from behind. Zibanejad was the biggest contributor, scoring twice and picking up two assists.
"(The win) was very important and the way we won, too," Zibanejad said. "To come back from 3-0 and being down that early and I think we can build on this. It shows what kind of character we have on this team."
David Legwand also scored for Ottawa and Craig Anderson made 30 saves for the Senators, who were 0-4-1 in their previous five.
"Things didn't exactly go our way at the start, but I thought that we stuck to it and actually came back with a push," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "It was a very good push that was led with Chris Neil, Craig Anderson in the net and the play of Mika Zibanejad, Bobby Ryan and Mike Hoffman."
Radim Vrbata, Kevin Bieksa and Brad Richardson scored for Vancouver, and Eddie Lack had 41 saves.
This marks just the second time this season the Canucks have lost back-to-back games and is the first time on the road.
"I don't think we played very well to be honest," said Richardson. "They were a lot more desperate than us."
The Senators' comeback bid started midway through the second as Legwand scored a power-play goal with 9:07 remaining in the period. Zibanejad made it 3-2 with 5:48 left as he picked up his own rebound and banked it in off Yannick Weber, and then tied with 1:02 left in the period with a backhand past Lack.
Zibanejad, who had been a healthy scratch for two games two weeks ago, now has four goals and three assists in his past four games.
"I think after those two games that I didn't play, it was more of a message to dictate and play with instinct and I think I took that to heart and it's something I've been working on," Zibanejad said. "It's coming more and more, and obviously confidence is a big part of it, but I think playing on instinct and not thinking and not waiting around for anything that kind of helps it out, too."
Vancouver opened the scoring at 6:10 of the first as Vrbata had a nice deke to get around Anderson and score into an open net.
Just over one minute later Bieksa made it 2-0 as his shot from just inside the blue line made it through traffic.
Richardson scored at 5:02 of the third to put the Canucks up 3-0.
Mark Stone returned to the lineup after missing one game after taking a puck to the ankle against the Islanders last Thursday.
NOTES: D Marc Methot was a late scratch. The Senators were without D Patrick Wiercioch (muscle strain), LW Milan Michalek (upper body, day-to-day) and G Robin Lehner (knee, day-to-day). C Colin Greening and C Zack Smith were healthy scratches. ... The Canucks were without C Shawn Matthias (head, day-to-day). D Frank Corrado and LW Tom Sestito were a healthy scratch.
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