RALEIGH, N.C. -- Senators GM John Muckler officially served notice as yesterday's NHL trade deadline came and went that there will be no playoff saviour.
So, last night, Anton Volchenkov and Wade Redden took on the role themselves.
Both came up big with third-period goals in the Senators' comeback 4-2 victory over the defending Stanley Cup-champion Hurricanes in front of 17,812 at the RBC Center.
THREE POINTS FOR SPEZZA
Only minutes after Volchenkov tied it with his first goal in 85 games, fellow defenceman Redden scored the winner at 16:12 of the third on a pass from Jason Spezza, who had a three-point night and has 15 points during an eight-game scoring streak. Dany Heatley also scored for Ottawa as the dynamic duo was reunited with captain Daniel Alfredsson in the third period.
"We've been ragging on them (the defence) a little bit, not Volchenkov because we don't expect him to score a lot of goals," said Senators coach Bryan Murray. "But I thought Redden really played a strong game, moved his feet and made some passes. That was a good defensive team we played. There's not many holes out there. He's the difference when he plays that way."
Just when it looked bleak with the Senators trailing 2-1 late in the third, Volchenkov scored his first goal since Feb. 2, 2006 against the Penguins by firing a one-time blast from the point past John Grahame at 10:49 to tie the score.
"Long time ... no goals," Volchenkov said with a smile. "I picked up a new stick and it worked. I must have had about 20 sticks break (on one- timers)."
COMRIE HURTS LEG
Winger Oleg Saprykin, acquired from Phoenix yesterday, will join the Senators today in Ottawa.
Senators centre Mike Comrie, meanwhile, never returned to the ice after taking a shot from Heatley off the back of his leg in the third period. After the game, Murray said Comrie was okay.
Goalie Martin Gerber, given another chance on his road to redemption after a poor start to the season, managed to turn back his old teammates in what had to be a satisfying victory.
POOR RECORD VS. SENS
The Senators looked like they had been handed a gift when Carolina coach Peter Laviolette made the strange decision to start Grahame. How strange? Well, going into the game, Grahame had a 2-8-0 lifetime record against the Senators with a 3.70 GAA.
To Grahame's credit, he looked good, especially in the second period as the Senators poured it on with 14 shots.
Heatley opened the scoring with his 37th goal of the season after picking up a Spezza rebound and popping it into a wide-open net in front at 5:08 of the second.
Troubled by defensive errors, the Senators got burned by two big ones in the second. Josef Vasicek was allowed to push the puck through Gerber's legs at 10:34 to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. The goal came with Redden and Andrej Meszaros standing around watching.
Only 19 seconds earlier, Staal had tied it up at 10:14 by taking a pass from Cory Stillman and firing it into an open net. No, the defence didn't look good, but Gerber was completely out of position.
The Senators and Hurricanes complete their season series with a rematch tonight at Scotiabank Place.