Heatley tied the game late in the third period and then scored 2:57 into overtime to give the Senators a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.
Earlier in the day, he and the Senators agreed on a six-year, $45 million contract extension.
"It was nice, it was nice," Heatley said of his big day. "I had a couple of shots early and didn't get the shots through. It was nice to get a couple of chances in the third (and in overtime) and finish."
Heatley ended the game by burying a wrist shot from the middle of Toronto's zone between the legs of goaltender Andrew Raycroft.
"I didn't see anything on that last goal," Heatley said. "(Mike) Fisher made a great play through traffic and I just tried to get it away as fast as I could and find a hole."
The assist was Fisher's only point of the game.
"Heatley came up big for us, obviously in the third period and overtime, and showed everybody why he's a 50-goal scorer," Fisher said.
"We finally picked up in the third," Paddock said. "We were pretty lackadaisical in the second.
"We have to play better than we did tonight in some aspects of the game, but we found a way to win, which this group has got used to doing. And I'm glad they did it tonight."
He wasn't the least bit surprised Heatley was the hero.
"That's what goal-scorers are," he said. "You saw Brett Hull many nights, you don't think he's got anything and all of sudden he gets two chances and he scores. That's Heater. They were both goal-scorer's goals."
"I thought we played a pretty good hockey game," Sundin said. "We did a lot of good things.
"I don't think there was one part of the game that we were outplayed or outmatched. We'll take the point."
Heatley has haunted the Maple Leafs throughout his career. In 25 career games against them, he has 22 goals and 19 assists.
Ottawa has won all four times it has provided the opposition for the Maple Leafs' season opener at Air Canada Centre.
Music from the bagpipes and drums of the 48th Highlanders filled the arena as has been the case at every home opener since Maple Leaf Gardens opened on Nov. 12, 1931.
Vermette opened the scoring at 7:23 with a wrist shot from the circle to the right of Raycroft that went into the far lower corner of the net.
Antropov scored again at 13:59. He was unchecked in front of Gerber when Sundin slid him the puck from behind the net and he put it between Gerber's legs.
Alfredsson made it 2-2 at 14:39 when his wrist shot from the top of the circle to the left of Raycroft found the far lower corner of the net.
Raycroft stopped Chris Kelly on a breakaway early in the second period and he came up big during a two-man Ottawa advantage that lasted 65 seconds.
The crowd got on Raycroft after Ottawa's second goal.
"I thought the first two (goals) were tough," Maurice said. "They were good shots but ... clearly he was not loved (by the crowd) early but I think he did a really good job settling into the game, and after that I thought he was very good."
Stajan put Toronto up 3-2 at 15:44 of the second when he slapped a bullet past Gerber from the middle of Ottawa's zone.
Just when it seemed the Maple Leafs might be able to run out the clock, Heatley struck. Andrej Meszaros fed him a cross-ice pass and he buried his shot in the open side of the net at 14:24 to tie it 3-3.
- Ottawa had a 30-29 edge in shots.
- Neither team scored on the power play, Ottawa was 0-for-4, Toronto 0-for-7.
- Sundin had two assists to move within five points of Darryl Sittler's club-record 916.
- NHL commissioner Gary Bettman was in attendance.
- Joe Bowen, who has broadcast play-by-play of Maple Leafs games for 25 years, was honored in a pregame ceremony.