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Ottawa at Atlanta

Spezza, Alfredsson help Senators edge Thrashers

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ATLANTA -- It's still far too early for Ottawa coach Craig Hartsburg to temper his team's expectations.

The Senators' first two-game winning streak in over a month is no reason to celebrate.

"The spirits are good," Hartsburg said. "The guys are battling. Our guys showed a lot of character."

Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson each had a goal and an assist, helping Ottawa beat the Thrashers 3-2 to keep Atlanta reeling at home on Wednesday.

In their past 14 games at Philips Arena, the Thrashers have 12 losses. Overall, Atlanta has dropped two straight and five of six.

Five penalties in the first period wrecked any potential momentum for the Thrashers, who wasted two leads in Ilya Kovalchuk's first game as team captain.

"It's definitely a special night in my career, but I wanted to win the game," Kovalchuk said. "The penalties are killing us."

Dean McAmmond broke a 2-2 tie for the winning goal 14:23 into the second period. Jarkko Ruutu floated a pass up the ice for McAmmond, who scored on a breakaway ahead of trailing defenseman Ron Hainsey.

Ottawa, which snapped a five-game losing streak with a 5-1 victory Tuesday against Carolina, won its second straight for the first time since Dec. 6. Improving to 5-14-3 on the road, the Senators began the night with 11 points, second-fewest in the NHL, away from Scotiabank Place.

Rookie goaltender Brian Elliott improved to 2-1-0 after stopping 29 of 31 shots to win his second straight start.

"I felt a little shaky in the first period," Elliott said. "I came back pretty strong in the second and third periods. I think the guys saw that and grew confidence in me."

In just his third game since the Senators recalled him from AHL Binghamton, Elliott knows he needs to make a good impression while the job is apparently his. Ottawa general manager Bryan Murray has indicated that he will send Martin Gerber, who's 4-9-1, to the minors for two weeks of conditioning.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself," said Elliott, a ninth-round draft pick from 2002. "This is my goal and dream, to play at this level. When you get a shot like this, it doesn't happen this often. You have to make the most of it."

Spezza scored his 18th goal on the power play, making it 2-2 at the 18:09 mark of the first. In his past 12 games, Spezza has 14 points, including six goals.

Alfredsson, who assisted on Spezza's goal, made it 1-1 on the power play with his 12th goal to beat Thrashers goalie Kari Lehtonen from the left circle.

Todd White, scoring a goal for the second straight game, gave the Thrashers a 1-0 lead 5:37 into the first with his 14th, which came from the slot on the power play.

Chris Thorburn tipped in his fourth goal nearly 10 minutes after White to make it 2-1.

Lehtonen, who gave up seven goals in Atlanta's 8-4 loss Saturday at Florida, dropped to 5-12-2 after making 27 saves.

Ottawa hopes to avoid that kind of slump with Elliott.

"He made some huge saves for us late in the game," Hartsburg said. "I thought he looked a little nervous in the beginning, but he got bigger and bigger in the net as the game went on."

Notes

  • Taking three shots in 18 shifts, Kovalchuk was paired on the second line with center Rich Peverley, who was claimed off waivers from Nashville on Saturday.
  • McAmmond's goal, his third this season, gave him two in two games.
  • Thrashers rookie D Zach Bogosian, the NHL's No. 3 overall draft pick, played at home for the first time since breaking his leg Oct. 28.
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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Ottawa's bench appreciates Daniel Alfredsson, who scores his 12th goal. (Getty Images)
Ottawa's bench appreciates Daniel Alfredsson, who scores his 12th goal. (Getty Images)

Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Ottawa  (15-21-6) «2103
Atlanta (14-25-5)2002
Three Stars
J. Spezza
OTT


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
T. White
ATL


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
N. Havelid
ATL


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:37Power Play - Todd White (14), Snap Shot. Assist: Kozlov
06:41Power Play - Daniel Alfredsson (12), Snap Shot. Assist: Fisher, Spezza
15:28Chris Thorburn (4), Tip-In. Assist: Perrin, Christensen
18:09Power Play - Jason Spezza (18), Slap Shot. Assist: Kuba, Alfredsson
2ND PERIOD
14:23Dean McAmmond (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ruutu
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:03Thorburn, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice
05:18McAmmond, 2 min, Hooking
06:14Thorburn, 2 min, High-Sticking
10:48White, 2 min, Hooking
17:52Schneider, 2 min, Holding
19:25Valabik, 2 min, Slashing
2ND PERIOD
15:50Smith, 2 min, Hooking
3RD PERIOD
05:45Fisher, 2 min, Roughing
05:45Valabik, 2 min, Roughing
05:45Valabik, 2 min, Delay of Game - Smothering Puck
05:45Fisher, 2 min, Roughing
Shots On Goal
 123T
Ottawa165930
Atlanta1112831
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Brian Elliott60:00292
Kari Lehtonen58:55273
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Ottawa2-for-5
Atlanta1-for-2
Game Information
Attendance - 14163
Referees - Rob Martell, Dan Marouelli
Linesmen - Tim Nowak, Pierre Racicot
 
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