for this game

Alfredsson returns, helps Senators crush Canadiens

Feb 10, 2008 - 4:41 AM
OTTAWA (Ticker) -- Memo to the rest of the league - Watch out. The Ottawa Senators are healthy again.

The Senators' restored top line accounted for six goals and nine assists en route to a 6-1 drubbing of the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday in a battle of Northeast Division rivals.

Jason Spezza recorded a hat trick and added three assists, captain Daniel Alfredsson scored two goals and set up three others in his first game back from a sore hip flexor and Dany Heatley tallied and added three assists for Ottawa.

"There's no doubt we have chemistry out there, and every once in a while, we can have a big night like tonight," Alfredsson said. "But the important thing is being consistent and making sure we play well both ways."

It was the first time the three All-Stars have played together since Heatley separated his shoulder on January 12. The club went 4-8-0 over that span.

"Clearly, it's a lot of fun and we enjoy playing with each other," Spezza said. "Those guys seem like they're rested up, and sometimes injuries can be a blessing in disguise that way. Both guys were real good tonight and moved the puck real well."

Ottawa wasted little time in this one as Spezza started his career night just 22 seconds into the contest. After winning a faceoff back to defenseman Anton Volchenkov, Spezza redirected the 25-year-old Russian's shot past goaltender Cristobal Huet for a 1-0 lead.

"We knew it was going to be a shot in the arm having all three of them healthy again, but I was surprised at how ready they were to start tearing them apart early," Senators coach John Paddock said. "We know it won't be like that every night, and it was surprising, and it was a better surprise for us, obviously, than it was for Montreal."

Spezza doubled the advantage just 82 seconds later by stuffing a loose puck past Huet.

"I think we all felt good coming into the game tonight, and when (Spezza) tipped that first one early and then got the second one so quickly, it was great," Heatley said. "It was nice to be back together again."

Alfredsson, who missed the previous four games, scored just over three minutes afterward, completing a give-and-go with defenseman Joe Corvo at 4:45 of the first to give the Senators a 3-0 bulge.

Alfredsson's goal ended the night for Huet, who stopped just one of the four shots he faced. Rookie Carey Price replaced Huet and made 22 saves.

"I think tonight was the most impressive performance of the season for that line," Paddock said. "Especially in a four-point game, with a possible four-point swing against a division rival. They took the Montreal fans out of the game early, and took Huet out early. It was pretty impressive."

"We knew they'd probably come out strong tonight, and I don't think they took us by surprise, but they did take away our momentum very early," Montreal right wing Alexei Kovalev said. "It's very difficult to come back when you're down 3-0 early."

Heatley, who made his return Thursday, extended Ottawa's advantage to 4-0 with 9:43 left in the middle period. After taking a pass from Spezza and skating past a defender, Heatley had his initial attempt blocked by Price but whacked the rebound out of mid-air and into the net.

Spezza then completed his first career hat trick with 6:24 remaining in the second, knocking in a rebound after Price stopped Heatley's shot.

"I've had enough two-goal games but haven't been able to get the third one, so it was nice to get it out of the way," Spezza said. "It's always fun to get a hat trick and it usually means your team has won, and it was true tonight."

The Canadiens got on the scoreboard when Andrei Kostitsyn capitalized on a 5-on-3 advantage with 25 seconds left in the second, cutting the deficit to 5-1.

Alfredsson padded the lead at 2:28 of the third, scoring his team-leading 34th goal of the season. With the five points, the Swede is tied with Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin for the league lead with 73 points.

"I felt good. It was a fairly minor injury, but I wanted to be careful so it didn't turn into something more," Alfredsson said. "If these had been playoff games, I probably would've played, but at this stage in the season, it makes more sense to rest and be careful. So I felt good and it was nice to get us all back together for the first time in about a month."

Ray Emery, who ended a four-game losing streak Thursday, picked up his second straight win with a 33-save performance in this one.

"I thought Ray was sharp tonight," Spezza said. "He made some big saves early when there was still lots of hockey to be played and he was real strong for us."

During Ottawa's unhealthy stretch, Montreal had shaved a 10-point deficit to just one. But back-to-back wins by the Senators have increased their advantage in the division to five points.

"This is a huge win," Senators blue-liner Wade Redden said. "Knowing that they're right behind us in the standings, and knowing that we were going to have everyone back healthy again, we were hoping to get our team rolling the way we want to.

"Obviously, one line had a huge night for us, but everybody played well tonight, and winning big games like this is a team effort. I think we're all really happy with this win, for sure."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 1 0 1
    OTTAWA 3 2 1 6 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 21 (ANTON VOLCHENKOV) 0:22
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 22 (DANY HEATLEY, DANIEL ALFREDSSON) 1:42
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 33 (JASON SPEZZA, JOE CORVO) 4:45
    2ND PRD: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 28 (JASON SPEZZA, DANIEL

    Feb 9 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    OTTAWA 6
    3RD PRD: OTT - (PP) DANIEL ALFREDSSON 34 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA)
    2:28

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsFeb 9 9:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 1 1
    OTTAWA 3 2 5 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 21 (ANTON VOLCHENKOV) 0:22
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 22 (DANY HEATLEY, DANIEL ALFREDSSON) 1:42
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 33 (JASON SPEZZA, JOE CORVO) 4:45
    2ND PRD: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 28 (JASON S

    Feb 9 8:46 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 1
    OTTAWA 5
    2ND PRD: MON - (PP) ANDREI KOSTITSYN 17 (SERGEI KOSTITSYN, CAREY
    PRICE) 19:35 (TWO-MAN ADVANTAGE)

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsFeb 9 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    OTTAWA 5
    2ND PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 23 (DANY HEATLEY, DANIEL ALFREDSSON) 13:36

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsFeb 9 8:29 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    OTTAWA 4
    2ND PRD: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 28 (JASON SPEZZA, DANIEL ALFREDSSON) 10:17

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsFeb 9 8:21 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    MONTREAL 0 0
    OTTAWA 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 21 (ANTON VOLCHENKOV) 0:22
    OTT - JASON SPEZZA 22 (DANY HEATLEY, DANIEL ALFREDSSON) 1:42
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 33 (JASON SPEZZA, JOE CORVO) 4:45
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TO

    Feb 9 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    OTTAWA 3
    1ST PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 33 (JASON SPEZZA, JOE CORVO) 4:45

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsFeb 9 7:22 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    OTTAWA 2
    1ST PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 22 (DANY HEATLEY, DANIEL ALFREDSSON) 1:42

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsFeb 9 7:18 PM


  • NHL
    MONTREAL 0
    OTTAWA 1
    1ST PRD: OTT - JASON SPEZZA 21 (ANTON VOLCHENKOV) 0:22

    Canadiens vs. SenatorsFeb 9 7:15 PM
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