Senators run Wild on road

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:53 AM ET

ST. PAUL, MINN. -- The ear-to-ear grin on Patrick Eaves' face told the story. It was a wonderful homecoming for Eaves and a laugher for the Senators.

Goalie Dominik Hasek may have had the best seat in the house at the Xcel Energy Center as the Senators dismantled the defensively minded Minnesota Wild 6-1 last night.

Eaves, a Minnesota native, wanted to perform well with his parents and eight friends making the one-hour drive from nearby Fairbault.

While Eaves had two goals, Chris Kelly, Dany Heatley, Alexander Volchenkov and Andrej Meszaros also scored on a nightmarish night for Wild goalie Dwayne Roloson.

"It was nice to get the points, but it was more important that we get the two points and the win," said Eaves. "I was a little (nervous), but it was nice to have my family in the stands. We played well as a team and our line had success."

The Senators turned what was expected to be a tight-checking game into a goalfest.

"We got them down and then we forced them into a situation they don't like playing in," said Heatley. "We've been trying to play that way, a simple style and capitalize on our scoring chances.

"We did a good job."

After surrendering the first goal to Wild defenceman Filip Kuba, the Senators skated circles around the Minnesota defence.

"Eaves did a good job getting the puck to me," said Kelly, who also had two assists. "It was nice that our line (Vaclav Varada also had two points) was able to contribute."

Eaves put the game out of reach at 16:08 of the third by taking a feed from Kelly and beating Roloson with an easy shot on the glove side.

Eaves opened the scoring at 12:21 of the first. He fired a shot that was stopped by Roloson, who was helpless as Wild defenceman Willie Mitchell accidentally pushed it through the five-hole.

Yep, you've gotta be lucky to be good, but give credit to Eaves, who also set up Kelly for his fourth goal of the year with Roloson caught out of his net at 1:56 of the second.

Heatley scored his 29th goal on the power play at 14:17 of the second, while Meszaros' fourth gave the Senators a 2-1 lead at 19:48 of the first.

"The Senators have a good team and they got bounces, but I'm sure they've gotten bounces like that before," said Wild coach Jacques Lemaire. "That's the sign of a good team. We couldn't really get much going."

As for Hasek, he didn't have a lot in the way of work after getting only three shots in the first. He went through a 10-minute stretch to start the second without even facing a shot as the Wild either missed wide or couldn't get it to the net.

Senators winger Brian McGrattan, who hadn't fought since Dec. 23, found a willing dance partner in Minny's Derek Boogard and got taken down in the third.

The Senators return home to face Anaheim on Thursday.


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