Senators find key to beating Oilers

DEREK VAN DIEST -- Edmonton Sun

, Last Updated: 1:29 PM ET

The Ottawa Senators have never had much success against the Edmonton Oilers.

Even when the Senators were racking up 100-points seasons and the Oilers were struggling to make the playoffs, Ottawa struggled against Edmonton.

Prior to yesterday's 5-3 victory over the Oilers, the Senators were 2-11-4 against Edmonton dating back to the 1995-96 season.

Before the game, the Sens had beaten the Oilers at Rexall Place once in their last nine meetings.

"I wasn't there in the past, so I have no idea what happened," said Senators head coach Bryan Murray.

"Tonight I thought we played real hard, worked real hard and showed real discipline when people were suggesting we couldn't win one-goal hockey games. I thought it was all pretty good."

The Oilers and the Senators do not face each other again this season and may not next year. depending on the new NHL scheduling format.

That means unless the two teams meet in the Stanley Cup final, it could be a while before the Senators even up their record with the Oilers.

Last night, Peter Schaefer's third period goal and Dominik Hasek's huge save on Jarret Stoll proved to be the difference.

The win ruined what was to be a milestone night for Oilers defenceman Marc-Andre Bergeron, who was eventually credited with the first hat-trick of his career.

"I think in the last couple of years we've had a little more success against them," said Senators defenceman Wade Redden.

"I know earlier in my career we didn't get any wins against them. I think we went 10 games before we were able to beat them.

"They play an in-your-face style and obviously we want to play that way too."

Yesterday's game was not exactly run and gun - neither team managed to get over 30 shots - but there was good tempo in the second and third periods.

It's a welcomed changed from what used to be a very clutch-and-grab style of hockey played in the Eastern Conference.

"I think we play a different style now," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson.

"I think before we used to play a more trapping game and now we play more of a forechecking game. That suits us better against a more high-tempo team like the Oilers.

"They took it to us, forechecked really hard in the past and tonight we were able to do that to them."


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