for this game

Fisher scores twice as Senators salvage road trip

Mar 9, 2008 - 5:53 AM
GLENDALE, Arizona (Ticker) -- Mike Fisher provided some much-needed offense for the struggling Ottawa Senators.

Fisher scored a pair of goals and Antoine Vermette added a tally and an assist as the Senators salvaged the finale of their four-game road trip Saturday with a 4-2 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes.

All-Star Dany Heatley also tallied and Martin Gerber made 33 saves and picked up an assist for Ottawa, which scored more than two goals for just the second time in its last eight games.

"To win a game, for us, is big," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "It was really getting out of hand. Now we can go off the road trip, play some of the division. So it shouldn't be very hard to get up for the games."

With the win, the Senators (38-25-7) remained two points behind the Montreal Canadiens (38-22-9) for first place in the Northeast Division.

"It has been a tough stretch," Vermette said. "We thought we had some good battles on this (road) trip, but being consistent for 60 minutes - we haven't done that."

Craig Weller and rookie Peter Mueller scored for Phoenix (34-30-5), which lost for the fourth time in six games and remained five points behind idle Nashville (35-26-8) for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.

Winless in its previous five road games (0-4-1), Ottawa got on the board first when Fisher snapped an 18-game goalless drought with a shorthander at 10:49 of the first period.

"It was nice to get a few for myself," Fisher said. "When you haven't scored in a while, it is natural to start doing a little too much or overanalyze things. I was just trying to focus and not worry about scoring.

"Just trying to do the little things and trying to get chances. Then if that happens, that is all you can control because you know that it is just a matter of time."

Weller and Mueller scored less than two minutes apart midway through the middle session to put the Coyotes ahead, 2-1. But Fisher cashed in during a power play with exactly two minutes remaining in the period to forge a tie.

"We were careless," Murray said. "We let them back in the game on two turnovers, and the result was it was a tie hockey game going into the third period. It shouldn't have been, I thought, but we found a way on the power play."

Heatley gave the Senators the lead for good 93 seconds into the third, burying a loose puck from the left faceoff circle during a man advantage for his 32nd goal of the season. Vermette added an insurance tally at 10:01, backhanding a rebound past goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov from the slot for his 16th.

"It's been a while," Vermette said of the win. "We've been struggling, so it's a big two points. It's important for us to get that feeling back. It wasn't the perfect game for us, but we have to take anything at this point."

The Senators went 2-for-3 on the power play, while the Coyotes failed to score on their seven opportunities.

"Our power play wasn't good, and a lot of guys, including myself, didn't do our job," said Phoenix captain Shane Doan, whose three-game goal-scoring streak ended. "We lose the battle of special teams, and we lost it with them scoring on our (power play). That's the difference."

Bryzgalov turned aside 28 shots for the Coyotes, who have not scored more than two goals in any of their last nine games.

Fisher opened the scoring midway through the first when he received a pass from the bottom of the left circle by Dean McAmmond for an easy tap-in from the top of the crease after skating right past defenseman Keith Yandle.

"We got behind the eight ball right off the bat," Coyotes coach Wayne Gretzky said. "Our power play was not good. ... The odd-man rushes seem to happen more on our power play than on even strength."

Weller drew Phoenix even at 8:45 of the middle period. After chipping the puck past blue-liner Keith Ballard in the defensive zone, Weller skated down the right wing and beat Gerber from the circle as another defender slid by in an attempt to block the shot.

Mueller put the Coyotes ahead at 10:16, but Gerber kept it a one-goal deficit with less than three minutes remaining in the period by denying rookie Martin Hanzal's breakaway chance.

Moments later, Fisher scored from the bottom of the left circle to knot the contest.

With the loss, Phoenix fell to 14-17-3 at home. The Coyotes are 20-13-2 on the road.

"This team is such a unique team," Gretzky said. "We can't seem to find a way to win at home, but yet on the road, we play such a tremendously different game. We can't put our finger on it, and we have tried everything."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1 2 4
    PHOENIX 0 2 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - (SH) MIKE FISHER 20 (DEAN MCAMMOND, MARTIN GERBER)
    10:49
    2ND PRD: PHO - CRAIG WELLER 3 (MARTIN HANZAL, ZBYNEK MICHALEK) 8:45
    PHO - PETER MUELLER 21 (KEITH YANDLE) 10:16
    OTT - MIKE FISHER 21 (RANDY ROBITAILLE, A

    Mar 8 10:36 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 4
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 16 (CHRIS KELLY) 10:01

    Senators 4, Coyotes 2  3rd - 9:59Mar 8 10:17 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    PHOENIX 2
    3RD PRD: OTT - (PP) DANY HEATLEY 32 (JASON SPEZZA, CORY STILLMAN) 1:23

    Senators 3, Coyotes 2  3rd - 18:37Mar 8 10:04 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1 2
    PHOENIX 0 2 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - (SH) MIKE FISHER 20 (DEAN MCAMMOND, MARTIN GERBER)
    10:49
    2ND PRD: PHO - CRAIG WELLER 3 (MARTIN HANZAL, ZBYNEK MICHALEK) 8:45
    PHO - PETER MUELLER 21 (KEITH YANDLE) 10:16
    OTT - MIKE FISHER 21 (RANDY

    Mar 8 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    PHOENIX 2
    2ND PRD: OTT - MIKE FISHER 21 (RANDY ROBITAILLE, ANTOINE VERMETTE)
    18:00

    Senators 2, Coyotes 2  2nd - 2:00Mar 8 8:40 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    PHOENIX 2
    2ND PRD: PHO - PETER MUELLER 21 (KEITH YANDLE) 10:16

    Senators 1, Coyotes 2  2nd - 9:44Mar 8 8:22 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    PHOENIX 1
    2ND PRD: PHO - CRAIG WELLER 3 (MARTIN HANZAL, ZBYNEK MICHALEK) 8:45

    Senators 1, Coyotes 1  2nd - 11:15Mar 8 8:20 PM
  • 10
    roots
    sensfan74 Added 5 roots

    Senators 1, Coyotes 0  End of 1stMar 8 7:56 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 1 1
    PHOENIX 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - (SH) MIKE FISHER 20 (DEAN MCAMMOND, MARTIN GERBER)
    10:49
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 14 14
    PHO 9 9
    GOALIES: OTT - MARTIN GE

    Mar 8 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    PHOENIX 0
    1ST PRD: OTT - (SH) MIKE FISHER 20 (DEAN MCAMMOND, MARTIN GERBER)
    10:49

    Senators 1, Coyotes 0  1st - 9:11Mar 8 7:30 PM
  • 5
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Senators vs. CoyotesMar 4 8:30 AM