Sens pick-up first win

Posted on October 14, 2010

Sens pick-up first win

It was a night of first's for the Ottawa Senators Thursday.

Mike Fisher scored twice, including the winner in the third, as the Ottawa Senators got their first victory of the season Thursday, 3-2 over the Carolina Hurricanes.

"It was good to get that first win," said Fisher. "Now hopefully it will get us rolling."

With Ottawa enjoying a four-minute power play, Fisher took a feed in the high slot from Nick Foligno and ripped a slapshot past Carolina netminder Cam Ward for his second of the night.

It was the first goal of the season on the man advantage for Ottawa (1-2-1). The Senators are now 1-for-18 with the man advantage.

"The timing of it was perfect," said Senators coach Cory Clouston.

Milan Michalek also scored for the Senators, while Brian Elliott made 19 saves in his first appearance of the season after coming on for injured Ottawa starter Pascal Leclaire.

"It was a little surprising at first (coming in), but that's why you prepare the way you do," said Elliott. "The guys did a great job keeping things from the outside and I had to stop a couple early, but it kind of got me in the game. We pulled out a win and that’s the end result."

Sergei Samsonov and Eric Staal had the goals for the Hurricanes (2-1-0), who were playing their first game in North America after starting the season in Europe with a two-game series with Minnesota.

Things didn't start well for the Senators as Leclaire left the game after two minutes of action following successive collisions with Carolina's Jeff Skinner and Tom Kostopulous.

Clouston admitted he wasn't even aware Leclaire had been injured until he heard the whistle and was unsure what exactly took place. Leclaire will be re-evaluated Friday. The injury is most unfortunate for Leclaire as he had been one of the Senators better players through the first three games.

The 27-year-old left the game with a lower body injury and was replaced by Elliott, who hadn't played since the pre-season.

Ottawa came out strong early and led after one period for the first time this season.                 

"It's much easier playing with the lead, even though we gave it up," said Fisher. "But we stuck with it and our cycle game was pretty good."

Fisher opened the scoring with just over two minutes remaining as his shot from the point deflected into the air and slipped past Ward, who finished with 36 saves.

Ottawa had a number of chances in the second, but Ward was at his best until midway through the period when Michalek beat him with a backhand off the rush.

Without Ward this game would have been decided much earlier and Carolina coach Paul Maurice says the Hurricanes should be thankful to have someone who can bail them out as often as Ward did on this night.

"Cam Ward is that good a player for us," said Maurice. "He is that good that we get spoiled by it and take it for granted and that's a real nice luxury to have. Tonight we just weren't moving and just didn't have any jump so we left it to our goaltender to bail us out of some of the strange decisions that we made and he did. That's how you get a chance to win when you're not good and we weren't very good."

The Hurricanes tied the game with two goals in less than two minutes midway through the third.

Samsonov scored on the power play after Elliott overcommitted to Staal and was unable to get back in position.

Staal then picked up his first of the season after taking a cross-ice pass to knot the score 2-2.

Despite giving up the lead the Senators felt there were a number of positives to be taken from the game, aside from the win. The Senators had talked about getting more shots on goal and Thursday's 39 were a season high.

"I thought we played a good game overall," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We have to keep going in this fashion."