Senators 4, Bruins 2
It's been years since Bryan Murray has seen a line dominate like this.
Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson had another spectacular night before 19,691 at the Corel Centre, teaming up for 10 points in a 4-2 victory over the Boston Bruins.
The display had their coach searching back toward two of the NHL's great dynasties of the 1980s to supply some added perspective about it all.
"I didn't have (the Islanders' Bryan) Trottier, (Mike) Bossy and (Clark) Gillies, but I don't know if I've seen anything like this in a long time," said Murray. "I know we're only at the 20-game mark, but they're pretty strong.
"There's not a lot of lines like this in hockey. I guess if Edmonton had put (Mark) Messier, (Wayne) Gretzky and (Glenn) Anderson together on one line, they might have been like this. You don't see this kind of stuff very often."
Led by two goals and two assists from Spezza -- along with three-point nights from Heatley and Alfredsson -- the Senators extended their Saturday night streak of perfection to 7-0.
Heatley also extended his point-scoring streak to 21 straight games -- he's the only NHL player to have a point in every one of his team's games this season. Heatley moved within two games of Wayne Gretzky's NHL record for scoring in consecutive games with a new team (23), set in 1989-90 with Los Angeles.
"What can I say? We get fired up about playing on Saturday nights," said Heatley, who had a goal and two assists. "The key has been getting those first goals early and then we got stronger as the game went on."
With the victory, the Senators have outscored their opponents 39-8 in Saturday games. They pulled four points ahead of the Canadiens -- who will be here Tuesday -- for the top spot in the Northeast Division.
Montreal lost 4-3 in overtime in Toronto last night.
The Senators have now scored four or more goals in 17 of the 21 games they've played this season. They lead the league in both goals for (100) and against (44).
"We're having success because we've been working hard in improving at both ends of the ice and Murray has been staying on us," said Spezza.
"We're just playing with a lot of confidence right now and we're doing a good job defensively. We're not giving the opponent many opportunities and we're trying to make sure we improve every game."
ANOTHER FAST START
For the fifth time this year, the Senators opened the scoring in the first minute of a game. It was Spezza, with his ninth, who deposited the puck into a wide-open net only 34 seconds into the first period.
Though Brad Isbister was able to tie it up with a backhander at 13:45 of the first, that's where the fun stopped for Boston. They didn't get many chances and only Nick Boynton, with 20 seconds left, was able to beat Hasek.
"We're just playing really well as a team and we're getting the little things done," said Alfredsson. "Everybody is contributing and we know we've got a good team here. We just have to keep playing strong."
The Senators were able to laugh off a missed 5-on-3 opportunity midway through the second when Hasek was charged with the delay of game for touching the puck outside the goalie zone for the fourth time this year.
So, are they going to tie a rope to Hasek to keep him in his crease?
"Not as long as we're winning," said Murray. "I wouldn't want to put a rope around him anyway because it would choke him every time he goes down."
No need for that stuff.