for this game

Elliott strong in debut as Senators remain unbeaten

Oct 11, 2007 - 3:43 AM
By Phil Foley PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

ATLANTA (Ticker) -- The Ottawa Senators just keep on rolling.

Antoine Vermette snapped a tie early in the third period and Brian Elliot turned aside 27 shots in his NHL debut to lead the unbeaten Senators to a 3-1 win over the struggling Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday.

The defending Eastern Conference champion Senators (5-0-0) have been on fire this season, dominating the opposition en route to winning all seven preseason games and the first four regular-season contests entering Wednesday's matchup with the Thrashers.

Meanwhile, the defending Southeast Division champion Thrashers (0-3-0) have gone in the other direction and came into the matchup one of the league's four winless teams after falling to division rivals Washington and Tampa Bay.

"It's not fun," Atlanta coach Bob Hartley said. "Not fun for us, not fun for our fans. We're the ones who will make it happen. Nobody will help us. We're staying positive. There are good chances in front of us. There's plenty of time."

Ottawa kept alive both streaks.

"We weren't satisfied with what happened last year," Ottawa's Dany Heatley said. "We are hungry and excited to get this season going."

Vermette beat Kari Lehtonen with a slap shot from the left faceoff circle just 1:42 into the third to give the Senators a 2-1 edge.

Defenseman Joe Corvo followed with a power-play goal from above the slot at 7:35 to seal the victory.

The Senators' top line of Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson - which tallied 22 points in Ottawa's first four games - was held in check until Spezza and Alfredson assisted on Corvo's goal.

The tallies by Vermette and Corvo capped a sensational night by Elliott. The 22-year-old, who was the netminder on the University of Wisconsin's national championship team in 2006, stopped four shots in the first period, 10 in the second and 13 in the third to win in his first career appearance.

Elliott was surprised to get the start in place of Martin Gerber, who was 4-0-0 with a 1.73 goals-against average over the first four games of the season.

"I didn't think I was going to start tonight," he said. "When (coach John Paddock) told me, I was prepared. I was focused on what I had to do. The guys played great in front of me. It was an awesome first win."

"Brian Elliott plaed excellent," Paddock said. "He really looked sharp. I played Elliott due to having back-to-back games. We haven't played well here in two years, and I think that got the players' attention."

Chris Kelly got the Senators on the board 74 seconds into the contest. The 26-year-old recovered a turnover by Atlanta superstar Ilya Kovalchuk at center ice before firing a wrister from the left circle past Lehtonen to give Ottawa a 1-0 advantage.

Kovalchuk atoned for his defensive miscue when he beat Elliott at 6:56 of the first, stealing the puck from defenseman Anton Volchenkov along the left wing boards and wristing it over Elliott's right shoulder from the left circle.

Shortly thereafter, Kovalchuk left the game after having his shoulder tweaked on a high check from Ottawa's Mike Fisher but returned in the second period.

Atlanta also played without former Senator Marian Hossa. The 28-year-old Hossa, who was scratched after suffering a groin injury during practice on Monday, led the Thrashers with 10 points - all assists - in four games against his former club last season.

"We can't feel sorry for ourselves because no one will be feeling sorry for us," said Hartley, who held a closed-door meeting with his players after the loss. "I went in (the locker room) and told them we have two choices - we could put our heads down feeling sorry about ourselves or we could be NHL players."

Hossa also is expected to miss Thursday's game in Buffalo.

"Not having Hossa in the lineup is a big impact for us," Atlanta captain Bobby Holik said. "But this is hockey. People get hurt, get sick and (are out for) other reasons. The team has to pull together and hold the fort until he comes back."

Lehtonen stopped 33 shots for the Thrashers, who went 0-for-3 on the power play.






  • 20
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Senators 3, Thrashers 1  FinalMar 4 8:31 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 0 2 3
    ATLANTA 1 0 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - CHRIS KELLY 2 (UNASSISTED) 1:14
    ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 1 (UNASSISTED) 6:56
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 2 (CHRIS PHILLIPS, ANTON VOLCHENKOV)
    1:42
    OTT - (PP) JOE CORVO 1 (JASON SPEZZA, DANIEL ALFR

    Oct 10 9:32 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: OTT - (PP) JOE CORVO 1 (JASON SPEZZA, DANIEL ALFREDSSON) 7:35

    Senators vs. ThrashersOct 10 9:10 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    ATLANTA 1
    3RD PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 2 (CHRIS PHILLIPS, ANTON VOLCHENKOV)
    1:42

    Senators vs. ThrashersOct 10 8:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 0 1
    ATLANTA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - CHRIS KELLY 2 (UNASSISTED) 1:14
    ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 1 (UNASSISTED) 6:56
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 13 9 22
    ATL 5 10

    Oct 10 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1
    ATLANTA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - CHRIS KELLY 2 (UNASSISTED) 1:14
    ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 1 (UNASSISTED) 6:56
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 13 13
    ATL 5 5
    GOALIES:

    Oct 10 7:43 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    ATLANTA 1
    1ST PRD: ATL - ILYA KOVALCHUK 1 (UNASSISTED) 6:56

    Senators vs. ThrashersOct 10 7:22 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    ATLANTA 0
    1ST PRD: OTT - CHRIS KELLY 2 (UNASSISTED) 1:14

    Senators vs. ThrashersOct 10 7:12 PM
  • 15
    roots
    superchop Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. ThrashersOct 10 12:31 PM
  • 10
    roots
    pclifton86 Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. ThrashersOct 10 12:30 PM
  • 5
    roots
    anil Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. ThrashersOct 10 5:40 AM