Game story

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 11:44 AM ET

THE GOALS

Senators 4, Islanders 2

FIRST PERIOD

1. SENATORS: A step or two after crossing the blue line, Varada slides a soft backhand pass into the middle, where Eaves neatly redirects it over DiPietro's shoulder. Senators 1, Islanders 0

2. SENATORS: With one Islander in the box and another on the way, Alfredsson slides a pass to Chara at the right point. His one timer squeezes through DiPietro. Senators 2, Islanders 0

3. SENATORS: With Neil standing in front, Meszaros one-times a pass from Pothier that also squeezes past DiPietro. Senators 3, Islanders 0

SECOND PERIOD

4. ISLANDERS: Blake's wrist shot from the top of the left-wing circle beats Emery high on the glove side. Senators 3, Islanders 1

5. SENATORS: On a great solo effort, Heatley wins a battle along the boards, cuts for the high slot, slams the brakes on while an Islander defender slides by, then beats DiPietro with a high shot to the glove side. Senators 4, Islanders 1

THIRD PERIOD

6. ISLANDERS: Parrish takes a cross ice pass from Smith and beats Emery with wrister to the short side. Senators 4, Islanders 2

3 STARS

Selected by Don Brennan

Emery

Senators

Blake

Islanders

Kelly

Senators

ON DECK

- Monday

vs. NY Rangers

7:30 p.m.

Corel Centre

- TV

Sportsnet

- Radio

Team 1200, CJRC 1150

NOTES

A pulled pec caused Jason Spezza to miss his second straight game -- or sixth, seventh and eighth full periods if you consider he only played part of one in Montreal -- and the Senators' top centre remains questionable for their Boxing Day home game against the Rangers. Spezza went for a skate yesterday morning but could not function at 100% efficiency. "It's a muscle thing, so we just have to wait and hope," said coach Bryan Murray ... The Senators flew back to Ottawa after last night's game and have today and tomorrow off as their Christmas break. They return to work for Monday's morning skate .... As expected, the Islanders welcomed W Shawn Bates back to the lineup last night. The fleet forward had missed 11 games with a hamstring strain.

SOME THINGS WORTH NOTING...

A VERY MURRAY CHRISTMAS: After work commitments kept him in Washington, Detroit, Florida and Anaheim for oh, 25 years or so, Bryan Murray will enjoy his second consecutive Christmas at home in Shawville. Today is the big day for the Murray clan, which includes about 60 people or so. "Christmas Eve we have the family get together," he said. "We have sleigh rides for the kids, the girls go to church ... some people just sit around and watch hockey or football or whatever is on, and we exchange gifts. We'll go home after that and have our own individual family thing."

HOLIDAY JEERS: A few boos were heard from the crowd when Alexei Yashin appeared on the screen delivering a taped Merry Christmas message during a second-period stop in play. The cheers were loud when Jason Blake did the same.

Sun Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5


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