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Emery strong again as Senators edge Wild

Nov 21, 2006 - 3:20 AM OTTAWA (Ticker) -- Ray Emery and the Ottawa Senators are playing their best hockey of the season.

Emery made 42 saves and the Senators scored three first-period goals en route to a 5-3 victory over the Minnesota Wild.

Defenseman Andrej Meszaros, Chris Kelly and Chris Neil tallied in the opening session as Ottawa won for the third time in its last four games following a stretch of seven losses in eight contests.

"We've slowly become a little bit better," said Ottawa center Mike Fisher, who had two assists. "We're finally doing the little things right and playing well as a team. When we do that, we know we can be successful."

Emery has started all four games during the Senators' hot streak, allowing a total of nine goals. In his latest strong effort, Emery yielded only a power-play goal to Pascal Dupuis, a penalty-shot tally to Brian Rolston in the final session and a late goal to Mikko Koivu after the outcome already had been decided.

"Each game is a new one, so I just want to play solid and help the team get wins," Emery said. "They're feeding off my confidence and I'm feeding off their confidence. We just have to keep that going because you can never get too up on yourself in this league."

Meszaros scored on a blast from the right point at 5:04 of the first period and Kelly tallied on a semi-breakaway 68 seconds later to give Ottawa an early cushion. Neil added a power-play goal at 14:06 of the first period when he lifted a backhander over the shoulder of goaltender Manny Fernandez from a sharp angle.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson tallied midway through the middle session to make it 4-0 and Peter Schaefer buried a power-play goal with 1:29 left to cap the scoring for the Senators.

"We just have to create momentum out there," Schaefer said. "We have to beat the other team to the puck and if we continue to do that, we'll all contribute."

Fernandez made 28 saves for the Wild, who have lost six of their last eight games after opening the season with 10 wins in 12 contests.

"They're a quick team and have players that can make big plays," Fernandez said. "You better be ready to play whenever you come into anybody's rink, but they really played hard right from the start. They caught us flat-footed, myself included. It's hard to regroup after a period like that, but tonight the damage was already done."

Minnesota scored with the man advantage, shorthanded and on a penalty shot, but Rolston wasn't impressed.

"It's kind of like what happened to us a lot last year," he said. "You can't get into a hole like 4-0. We weren't sharp from when they dropped the puck right through the entire period. We played well after that, but it was a case of too little, too late."

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