Wade Redden is pretty good at putting two and two together.
After the Senators killed off four 5-on-3s and got two short-handed goals in their 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes last night at the Corel Centre, Redden did the math:
"When that happens, " he said, "it usually equals a win."
The win over the Hurricanes, a team that had handed the Senators two of their six losses in regulation time this season, was delivered in the hugely entertaining first period, thanks to the Senators' best penalty killer of the night, goaltender Dominik Hasek.
Several of his 33 saves last night were of the spectacular variety, especially when the Senators found themselves killing off a five-minute fighting major to rookie Chris Kelly less than two minutes into the game.
Kelly, not shy to go to the aid of a teammate, went after Carolina's Chad LaRose after he hammered Ottawa rookie Patrick Eaves into the boards from behind. Kelly came flying in and started throwing punches at LaRose, much to the delight of the record crowd of 20,050.
Only problem was Kelly wound up with the only fighting major to go with an instigator penalty, misconduct and game misconduct (which can be assessed when a player is deemed to be both an instigator and "aggressor" in a fight).
During the course of the major (in which the 'Canes had 10 shots), the Senators penalty killers killed off two stretches of 5-on-3, one for 53 seconds and another for 39 seconds.
"That was huge," said Redden. "Five minutes like that ... at the start of the game. That sets a tone."
"Dom made some crazy saves," said Senators forward Antoine Vermette, who set up Eaves for a short-handed goal and scored one himself later in the game.
"He was our best penalty killer (last) night."
The Senators killed off another 5-on-3 around the 12-minute mark of the period with captain Daniel Alfredsson ragging the puck, twisting and turning, on one memorable shift.
The killer to cap the period was Ottawa's Dany Heatley scoring his 24th of the season on the power play for a 1-0 lead with less than two minutes to go in the period.
"We scored on that power play near the end after they had a lot of chances. That's tough going in the (dressing) room after that number of power plays and realize you are trailing by one," said Vermette.
The Senators built a 3-0 lead on goals by Bryan Smolinski and Eaves' short-handed effort before Carolina's Erik Cole finally solved Hasek with 30 seconds left in the second period.
Momentum from a late goal?
Two quick ones before the third period was 32 seconds old by Alfredsson (24th) and Peter Schaefer (seventh) decided the issue. About the only things that went wrong were defenceman Brian Pothier leaving the game with a possible mild concussion and defenceman Chris Phillips missing a penalty shot in the third and remaining the only Senator without a goal this season.
Apart from the short-handed situations, the Senators didn't give up much 5-on-5.
The Senators killed off another 5-on-3 in the waning seconds before Carolina's Justin Williams made it 6-2 on the power play with 24.8 seconds left in the game.