OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators turned their frustration with Scotiabank Place's lively boards into a home-ice advantage.
Jason Spezza scored 12 seconds in for Ottawa's fastest goal from the start of a game before setting up Mike Comrie's second-period goal and helping the Senators to a 4-2 win over the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday.
"I just lost the opening draw and they tried to go D-to-D, it took a bounce off our boards that we've been complaining about all year and this time it worked to our advantage," Spezza said. "I saw that he bobbled it so I just kind of jumped by him and got in pretty clean."
Comrie also had two points, drawing an assist on Campoli's first goal since the Senators acquired both players in a Feb. 20 trade with the New York Islanders.
"It felt great to get that monkey off my back," Campoli said. "Mike pretty much put it right on my stick and then I just had to put it on the ice. We played really well tonight. We played a complete game, we took care of the puck when we needed to, we made smart decisions and we skated, and when we do those things we're a tough team to play against."
Stanley Cup finalists in 2007, the Senators are 12th overall in the Eastern Conference with 58 points and will likely miss the playoffs for the first time since 1996.
"We played a good team game and we know we've got to get better and get ourselves to where we were before," Spezza said. "These next 20 games are important for us to build momentum towards next year, and just to build as a team."
Sam Gagner scored twice and Roloson stopped 28 shots for Edmonton, which dropped its second in a row after falling behind 3-0.
"It was a very puzzling and disappointing game - it's the time for introspection for them," coach Craig MacTavish said. "You have the expectation of a certain amount of intensity when you play a game like this, in the situation that we're in, and we go out and we mangle it."
Newcomers Ales Kotalik and Patrick O'Sullivan made their Oilers debuts after the two forwards were acquired Wednesday prior to the trading deadline. Kotalik was acquired in a trade with Buffalo. O'Sullivan came over from Los Angeles in a three-way trade that saw the Oilers send Erik Cole to Carolina.
"I was impressed by what I saw of the skill level of both the acquisitions we got, but we had a lot of guys tonight -- when you have a certain percentage of your defensemen that play the way they did tonight, you can't win at this level," MacTavish said. "You've got to have reliability first and playmaking ability second, and we fell short on both of those areas on a high percentage of our back end."
Gilbert, who said he was surprised by a lively bounce off the boards that led to Spezza's goal on partner Dennis Grebeshkov's cross-ice pass, acknowledged MacTavish's frustration
"It was tough, you know, we didn't play our best game tonight," Gilbert said. "We didn't make a lot of passes tape-to-tape and I think that was the big difference."
Comrie made it 2-0 when he scored off a cross-ice feed from Spezza 4:04 into the second period. Campoli increased the lead to 3-0 when he was credited with his seventh goal at 6:06.
Heatley scored his 31st goal with 8:01 left in the third.
Gagner scored a power-play goal midway through the second to draw Edmonton within 3-1. He added his second of the game -- his ninth of the season -- when he beat Elliott with a backhand from a sharp angle with 1:53 remaining.
Senators forward Peter Regin left the game with a lower body injury and did not return.
|It takes all but 12 seconds for Jason Spezza to make his way to the net and score. (AP)|
|Ottawa (24-29-10) «||1||2||1||4|
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|12.0||Jason Spezza (23), Backhand Shot, Unassisted.|
|04:03||Mike Comrie (9), Wrist Shot. Assist: Spezza, Phillips|
|06:06||Power Play - Chris Campoli (7), Wrist Shot. Assist: Comrie, Heatley|
|10:45||Power Play - Sam Gagner (8), Wrist Shot. Assist: Grebeshkov, Gilbert|
|11:58||Dany Heatley (31), Slap Shot. Assist: Volchenkov, Alfredsson|
|18:07||Sam Gagner (9), Backhand Shot. Assist: Staios, Smid|
|02:56||Ruutu, 2 min, Interference|
|02:56||Stortini, 2 min, Unsportsmanlike Conduct|
|04:41||Gagner, 2 min, Holding|
|09:31||Comrie, 2 min, Tripping|
|14:26||Volchenkov, 2 min, Interference|
|19:28||Cogliano, 2 min, Roughing|
|19:28||Campoli, 2 min, Roughing|
|19:28||Staios, 2 min, Roughing|
|19:28||Staios, 10 min, Game Misconduct|
|Shots On Goal|
|Power Play Conversions|
|Attendance - 17904|
|Referees - Marc Joannette, Dan Marouelli|
|Linesmen - Steve Barton, Mark Pare|