for this game

Gerber defeats former team as Senators top Hurricanes

Nov 29, 2006 - 2:35 AM RALEIGH, North Carolina (Ticker) -- Martin Gerber informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he still has what it takes to be a starting goaltender in the NHL.

Gerber made 29 saves and Mike Fisher had a goal and an assist as the Ottawa Senators completed a successful road trip with a 4-1 triumph over the Hurricanes.

Patrick Eaves, Chris Neil and defenseman Christoph Schubert also scored for Ottawa, which netted a total of 16 goals in completing a 3-1-0 trek.

"It was good for (Gerber) to play a great game when we needed it to finish off this road trip on a really good note, winning three of four," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said.

Carolina's starting netminder for most of 2005-06, Gerber struggled early in the postseason and was replaced by rookie Cam Ward, who proceeded to lead the Hurricanes to their first Stanley Cup title, capturing Conn Smythe Trophy honors along the way.

Gerber signed with Ottawa as a free agent over the summer, but struggled upon his arrival. He entered having not played since November 13, when he surrendered five goals for the third time this season in an ugly 6-3 defeat against Montreal.

However, Gerber was much stronger Tuesday as he turned aside all 13 shots he faced in the second period and all 10 that came his way in the final session. He had not allowed fewer than two goals since his season debut - a 4-1 victory against Toronto on October 5 - but was not concerned with the revenge element.

"Just basically, it was just important to win," Gerber said. "If we can get a win and get things going, that's the most important thing."

Senators coach Bryan Murray defended his goaltender, who entered with a 3-8-1 record and a bloated 3.45 goals-against average.

"(He played great) in spite of what somebody wrote down here today: He's on a mediocre team and a below-average goaltender. He's a pretty good goaltender tonight," Murray said.

Eaves forged a 1-1 tie at 6:11 of the first period and Schubert put Ottawa ahead with a one-timer from the blue line at 4:01 of the middle session. Fisher tallied on a 2-on-1 midway through the second period and Neil capped the scoring with a redirection of a shot by Dany Heatley in the third.

"That was a good win, hard-working win," Murray said. "We scored some goals, worked hard and tracked well."

John Grahame made 32 saves and Andrew Ladd scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost three of their last four games.

"Well, we were flat," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "We weren't on our toes and we turned the puck over. There were too many inconsistencies tonight to establish an identity."

Right wing Justin Williams also discussed the team's identity after Carolina went 0-for-5 on the power play and fell to 6-4-1 at home this season.

"We had an identity last year that nobody was going to beat us at home, but last year is last year and we have to put that aside," he said. "We have to realize that we have to make it hard for other teams to come into our building and take two points. Ottawa took it to us tonight."

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