Senators back on track

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:56 AM ET

DENVER -- In the hours before last night's game, Senators coach Bryan Murray made it clear only one result was acceptable.

"He told us we had to win this game if we were going to go home with anything from this road trip," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "Sure, we lost some close games, but we had to play better."

With centre Jason Spezza, winger Martin Havlat and defenceman Wade Redden all out of the lineup with injuries, the Senators needed everybody to step up and be counted as they wrapped up this road trip.

While Dominik Hasek made 22 stops, Mike Fisher, Christoph Schubert, Patrick Eaves, Bryan Smolinski, Brandon Bochenski and Dany Heatley all had goals as the Senators scored a 6-2 win over the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

"I thought, missing some guys, we really dug down deep," said Fisher, who opened the scoring on the power play in the first period. "That was more our type of game. We had different people step up and score goals for us. We weren't happy with the situation we were in.

"We didn't want to lose this one."

Though the power play had struggled mightily by going 1-for-16 in the last two games, Heatley scored the winner with the man advantage at 5:50 of the third. It was the first of a four-goal explosion that snapped a 2-2 tie after two periods.

"We were missing three pretty key players, but everybody on this team did the job," said Alfredsson, who had a three-point night. "That's the kind of win we needed because we had some tough losses."

The Senators will return home today with six of a possible eight points on the road after stops in Florida (6-3 win) Dec. 5, Vancouver (3-2 shootout loss) on Friday and Calgary (2-1 OT loss) Saturday.

"We scored on the power play and I thought guys really dug down for us and stepped up to get the job done," said Murray. "We had guys like Eaves, Bochenski, and even Vermette, who were given more ice time, and they took advantage of it.

"They played well for us. We were missing some key guys and we hadn't really played as well as we've been able to play. We've been out here for a long time and I thought this was a really strong finish.

"I thought in the third period, once we got the lead, we really took the play to them and didn't really give them much at all."

But they wouldn't have gotten there without Hasek. He made a huge stop off Colorado's John-Michael Liles in front midway through the second. His best of the night might have been back-to-back pad stops off Ian Laperriere and Alex Tanguay in the first period.

"That's what you've come to expect from Dominik Hasek," said Murray.

"You know he's going to make the big saves for you and once we got the lead, he just shut the door."

This was a tough game. Smolinski needed six stitches after a getting a puck in the back of the head from Antti Laaksonen.

Winger Peter Schaefer also caught an errant stick in the face that required stitches.

"He was just winding up and it's instinct to stop the shot," said Smolinski. "It just caught me back in the back of the head. To be honest, it was scary at first, but once my head hit the ice it kind of stunned me and shook me a bit."

The Senators are home to the Dallas Stars on Thursday night.


Videos

Photos