Final - OT
  for this game

Vermette, Fisher score in shootout for Senators

Oct 15, 2006 - 2:18 AM MONTREAL (Ticker) -- The Ottawa Senators made the most of their limited offensive production.

Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher scored in the shootout as the Senators snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-2 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens, who came up short in their home opener.

After winning 52 games and scoring a league-high 314 goals last season, the Senators entered with just seven tallies in their first four contests, including two shootouts. However, they never trailed Saturday in winning for the first time in 10 days.

"We've had a bit of a tough patch," Senators goaltender Ray Emery said. "Even though we played well last game, we didn't get the results we wanted. It was good to grind one out tonight."

Vermette began the shootout by firing the puck between goaltender Cristobal Huet's pads. After Christopher Higgins and captain Saku Koivu failed to answer for Montreal, Fisher easily beat Huet for the clincher.

"I wasn't entirely surprised that I was picked (for the shootout)" Vermette said. "I wasn't nervous at all. I was just happy to score in front of my mom and dad and my sister."

"I just wish I could have scored that shootout goal," Higgins added. "I'm not going to sleep well thinking about that one. I just froze in there and didn't shoot at the right spot."

The Canadiens tied the game with 3:23 remaining in regulation when defenseman Janne Niinimaa set up Sergei Samsonov, who weaved his way from one side of the ice to the other before flipping a wrister from the right faceoff circle between Emery's pads.

"The play was kind of broken up," Samsonov said. "They turned the puck over and I kind of messed them up a bit. Then I went for the five-hole. It was the only option I had."

"I was feeling bad about that one," Emery said. "It's a goal you never want to let in, especially that late in the game."

Denis Hamel and Chris Kelly scored their initial tallies of the campaign in the first session and Emery made 23 saves for the Senators, who are just 1-for-30 on the power play this season.

Higgins netted a shorthanded goal for the second consecutive game and Huet stopped 25 shots for the Canadiens, who lost for the second time in three shootouts this season.

"It was a tough point to get when we were a little lax in a few areas of play," Higgins said. "One out of two (points) isn't bad when we played a little bit bad tonight."

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