Atlanta at Ottawa

Senators return to home ice with big bang, score seven on Thrashers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OTTAWA -- Although it was the sixth of seven goals by the Ottawa Senators, it was especially satisfying to forward Dany Heatley.

Heatley scored twice, and Antoine Vermette had a goal and two assists in the Senators' 7-3 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday.

Nick Foligno, Chris Kelly, Joe Corvo and Andrej Meszaros also scored for the Senators, who played their first home game in two weeks. Jason Spezza had two assists.

Ottawa won its fifth straight following a seven-game losing streak. Atlanta has dropped four in a row.

Heatley's second goal came just seconds after he and Corvo stepped out of the penalty box and were sent in on a 2-on-1 break. Corvo passed, Heatley converted.

Heatley was in the penalty box for mouthing off to the referee after Corvo was given a penalty for cross-checking 10 minutes into the third period. The Thrashers had just scored on a 5-on-3 advantage to make the score 5-3. The Senators faced another two-man disadvantage, this time for a full two minutes.

"It's the point in the game where we were a little bit frustrated after getting called for three or four (penalties) in a row," Heatley said. "I was joking with (captain Daniel Alfredsson) that if they scored on that 5-on-3 and they end up tying it up, you're a big goat. So it was nice to get a chance to score that goal."

Ilya Kovalchuk scored twice for the Thrashers, and Eric Perrin added Atlanta's other goal. Marian Hossa had two assists in the loss.

Johan Hedberg started for Atlanta but he was pulled in the second period after allowing five goals on 24 shots. Kari Lehtonen took over in net and gave up two goals on 19 shots.

Martin Gerber made his second straight start for Ottawa and wasn't tested often as the Thrashers had only six shots in each of the first two periods. He was busier in the third when the Thrashers had 13 shots and enjoyed nearly four minutes of 5-on-3 power-play time.

Ottawa was in control entering the third, holding a 5-2 lead and a 34-12 advantage in shots. The final shot total was 44-25.

Kovalchuk cut Atlanta's deficit to 5-3 with a shot from the point that flew past Gerber during the Thrashers' two-man advantage.

The Senators opened a 2-0 lead on goals by Foligno and Kelly.

Foligno opened the scoring 2:30 in when he lunged from behind the net to swipe in a loose puck in the crease. Chris Neil started the play by putting his own rebound off the post and then off the back of Hedberg.

Eight minutes later, Kelly jammed a pass from Vermette behind Hedberg for a 2-0 lead.

"They come very good at you offensively and we had to be ready for them," Thrashers coach Don Waddell said. "When we gave up that early goal, we became very fragile. We had opportunities to close the gap, and at 5-3 we had the power play and we couldn't score so that was a killer for us."

The Thrashers quickly got that goal back as Kovalchuk beat Gerber with a shot just nine seconds after Kelly scored.

Meszaros restored the Senators' two-goal lead with a power-play tally four minutes later.

"The start was important for us. I think we took a little bit of their will away and they seemed like they were tired a little bit and we got on them," Spezza said. "We let them in the game a little bit at the end but then we got that big goal from Heater. After that we just sailed in."

Corvo and Heatley gave the Senators a 5-1 lead by the 8:21 mark and sent Hedberg to the bench.

Perrin scored late in the period after taking a nice cross-ice feed from newly acquired Mark Recchi and put a one-timer past Gerber.

Notes

  • The Senators have scored first in 20 of their 31 games and have an 18-1-1 record in those games.
  • Spezza's first assist of the game was the 200th of his NHL career. He leads the NHL with 30 assists.
  • The Thrashers have allowed only two power-play goals in nine games.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Back on home ice, Dany Heatley is hard to stop and finishes with two goals for the Senators. (AP)
Back on home ice, Dany Heatley is hard to stop and finishes with two goals for the Senators. (AP)

Scoreboard
Atlanta (14-17-1)1113
Ottawa  (21-7-3) «3227
Three Stars
A. Vermette
OTT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
D. Heatley
OTT


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
I. Kovalchuk
ATL


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:30Nick Foligno (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Chris Neil, Christoph Schubert
10:15Chris Kelly (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Antoine Vermette
10:26Ilya Kovalchuk (25), Snap Shot. Assist: Todd White, Marian Hossa
14:44Power Play - Andrej Meszaros (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Christoph Schubert, Antoine Vermette
2ND PERIOD
01:17Joe Corvo (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Jason Spezza, Wade Redden
08:21Dany Heatley (19), Slap Shot. Assist: Jason Spezza, Randy Robitaille
15:49Eric Perrin (6), Wrist Shot. Assist: Mark Recchi, Slava Kozlov
3RD PERIOD
08:39Power Play - Ilya Kovalchuk (26), Slap Shot. Assist: Tobias Enstrom, Marian Hossa
12:44Dany Heatley (20), Snap Shot. Assist: Joe Corvo
19:00Antoine Vermette (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Daniel Alfredsson, Chris Kelly
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
11:45Zhitnik, 2 min, Hooking
12:46White, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
02:25Donovan, 2 min, Hooking
03:23Hossa, 2 min, Tripping
05:58Zhitnik, 2 min, Tripping
18:58Neil, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
03:25Phillips, 2 min, High-Sticking
07:38Meszaros, 2 min, Tripping
07:55Phillips, 2 min, Tripping
10:33Corvo, 2 min, Cross-Checking
10:33Heatley, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct
13:29Boulton, 2 min, Holding
Shots On Goal
 123T
Atlanta661325
Ottawa13211044
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Johan Hedberg28:21195
Kari Lehtonen31:39182
Martin Gerber60:00223
Game Information
Attendance - 20082
Referees - Bill McCreary, Steve Kozari
Linesmen - Steve Miller, Thor Nelson
 
Other Games
Colu 0 Final
Bos 2
Pho 4 Final
NJ 1
Dal 4 Final
SJ 2
Car 6 Final
Phi 5
Fla 2 Final
Det 5
Nash 1 Final
Colo 3
Chi 1 Final
Buf 3
Van 1 Final
Edm 2
Pitt 3 Final
NYI 2
Wash 3 Final
TB 2
Tor 1 Final
Mon 4
Min 2 Final
LA 1