Sens secure easy victory

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:46 AM ET

Senators 6, Rangers 2

Boxing Day is often a time for sober second thought, a day for do-overs.

A visit to exchange counters at the mall can fix most poorly conceived decisions at this time of year, like Milli Vanilli's Greatest Hits that grandma bought for her 50 Cent-loving grandson.

It's not that easy for New York Rangers coach Tom Renney.

Renney elected to start journeyman Kevin Weekes in goal last night, despite the fact Weekes is winless (0-7-4) against the Senators.

The decision left super rookie Henrik Lundqvist on the bench.

Not for long, though.

The Senators chased Weekes from the net before the first period was out on their way to a 6-2 win at the Corel Centre before a Boxing Day crowd of 19,806.

The Senators sent Weekes packing with three goals on four shots in a little more than three minutes in the first.

FOUR POINTS FOR REDDEN

"That's probably a game they'd want back," said Senators defenceman Wade Redden, who had a personal one-game best of four points with two goals and two assists. The Rangers flew into Ottawa yesterday morning and actually led 2-1, but frittered the game away with some costly turnovers and three Ottawa power-play goals.

"Coming in (yesterday) morning is not a good deal. We caught them at the end of power plays with some tired legs and we outworked them. That's what you have to do against these teams is out work them," said Redden.

"The power play was clicking in the first period (last night) (3-for-4) and that was the key to the game. It wasn't anything too flashy, just getting the puck to the net. We've been doing it in practice every day.

Instead of just going through the motions, we've been hammering it at the net."

Redden and the rest of the Senators blue line led the assault, a good sign when the club is looking for some secondary scoring with winger Martin Havlat out until spring and centre Jason Spezza missing his third game in a row with a strained chest muscle.

Defenceman Anton Volchenkov also scored and Zdeno Chara added a couple of assists, giving the Ottawa blue line seven points on the night.

"We're getting people to shoot from the point and more importantly, they seem to be getting it into traffic in front," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "We're giving ourselves some chances. Earlier this season, we were not establishing control from the point."

The Senators also got goals from captain Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley, who each scored their 23rd. They each added an assist. Bryan Smolinski had a good effort and had two assists replacing Spezza between Alfredsson and Heatley. Forward Mike Fisher scored his 12th.

Weekes remained winless against Ottawa, but it wasn't really his fault.

He made two big stops before Heatley banged in the second rebound to open the scoring on the power play. After the Rangers took that 2-1 lead on goals by Martin Straka and Petr Prucha, Weekes was beaten by an Alfredsson one-timer on an Ottawa 5-on-3.

Redden scored through a screen less than a minute later and Volchenkov chased Weekes from the net at 14:58 of the first after a New York turnover.

"It's a better game for Kevin as a veteran goaltender, to see a team with a lot of shooters and firepower," Renney mused before the game.

chris.stevenson@ott.sunpub.com


Photos