Sens sink Islanders

DON BRENNAN -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 9:28 AM ET

The Senators were guilty of looking a gift horse or two in the mouth during their first game back from the Christmas break.

But they also cashed in with all they would need against Alexei Yashin and the New York Islanders.

The end result was their second victory in a row, this one a 2-0 victory before a Scotiabank record crowd of 20,192 that was sprinkled with Bell Capital Cup participants

The win bumped the Senators' record to 19-18-1 and pushed them into a temporary tie with the Bruins for eighth in the East, two points behind the sixth-place Islanders. But it may have also come with a price.

Already without centre Jason Spezza, the Senators may have received some more bad news as his first-line replacement, Mike Fisher, left the game in the third period with an undisclosed injury.

Ray Emery recorded his second shutout of the season, stopping 18 shots while his mates fired 29 at Isles goalie Rick DiPietro.

MULTIPLE PENALTIES

Ottawa was holding a 1-0 lead with just under eight minutes to go when Richard Park and Yashin took penalties on the same play and the visitors were given a third minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.

But the Senators were unable to take advantage of the 5-on-3 and looked to be kissing goodbye the 5-on-4 that followed it two minutes later before Chris Kelly deflected an Anton Volchenkov point shot with one second left in the last power play.

The Senators were all over the Islanders in the first period, outshooting them 12-3 but managing only a 1-0 lead to show for their efforts.

A physical tone was set by Chris Neil and temporarily converted defenceman Christoph Schubert, who were credited with three and four hits respectively in the opening 20 minutes. The Islanders didn't do much in the initial frame other than counter the aggressive approach by outhitting the Senators 17-14.

The visitors kept up that tact and were ahead 37-24 in the hits category after two periods.

The lone goal to that point was an extenuation of the fine play from the newly formed first line in Saturday's victory over the Flyers.

STRONG WORK BY ALFIE

On a pressure-filled first-period shift, Daniel Alfredsson did a good job of keeping the puck in the offensive zone then, a few seconds later, winding up with it back on his stick in a dangerous area in front of DiPeitro. Rather than shoot, Alfredsson tried to slide a pass to Dany Heatley, but his attempt was denied by sprawling Isles defenceman Sean Hill. Turned out to be a lucky break for the Senators, as the puck wound up with Fisher, who was left with open net for the tap while DiPietro was moving the other way.

The Senators had a couple of great opportunities to increase that lead in the middle period.

On the penalty kill, Alfredsson stole the puck from Brendan Witt deep in the Islanders zone, then sent a pass out front to Kelly. While he was stopped by DiPietro, the rebound found its way to Alfredsson, who was also left facing an open net. When he tried to convert, the puck wound up on the top of the cage after appearing to go off diving Islanders defenceman Bruno Gervais.

Wade Redden had a similar opportunity on an Ottawa power play a little later on, but he failed to get good wood on the puck.


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