Pizza Line still cooking

Senators forward Dany Heatley puts the puck past Devils goalie Martin Brodeur during first period...

Senators forward Dany Heatley puts the puck past Devils goalie Martin Brodeur during first period action at Scotiabank Place on Monday. (Sun Media/Blair Gable)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:25 AM ET

The Senators' performance wasn't perfect yesterday, but their record is and that's all that really matters.

The Eastern Conference champions have erased any fears they'd be suffering from a Stanley Cup final "hangover" as they pushed their record to an unblemished 4-0 with a 4-2 victory over New Jersey at Scotiabank Place.

Like so many games before, they were carried by the usual cast of characters -- the line of Daniel Alfredsson (one goal, two assists), Jason Spezza (three assists) and Dany Heatley (one goal, one assist) recorded an eight-point effort between them.

Martin Gerber also continued his stellar play, becoming the first netminder in team history to start the season with a 4-0 record.

Defenceman Wade Redden scored what turned out to be the winner and centre Chris Kelly chipped in his second of the season as the Senators gave the 18,269 on hand plenty of reasons to go home and enjoy their Thanksgiving turkey in a festive mood.

"We talked about (a good start) in camp, we talked about it before camp and we wanted to make sure that this was not a hangover year for us," said Spezza. "We did not want to let that happen.

"We talked about it so much, that we probably guarded against it and I think that's really worked in our favour."

It certainly has and it doesn't get much better than the way the Senators have started this year.

Not only has the top line shouldered the offensive load, but Gerber has continued his solid play.

After posting a shutout in Saturday's 2-0 win over the New York Rangers, Gerber's shutout streak ended at 122 minutes, one second, when Arron Asham slid the puck past him near the end of the second period.

Midway through the third period, Zach Parise also solved Gerber, who has taken over the No. 1 role with Ray Emery struggling to come back from off-season wrist surgery.

The difference between last season and this season for Gerber, who made 27 saves yesterday, is confidence.

"He's so good positionally that it looks like (the pucks) are hitting him in the chest because they are," said Heatley. "That's because he's there, he's reading the play and that's why it's looking so easy for him."

Gerber is thankful for his teammates.

"The guys are doing a great job giving me the chance to see the puck," said Gerber.

The Senators are also getting timely goals. The club didn't get off to a great start yesterday, but took the play to the Devils once Kelly opened the scoring at 4:37 of the first.

The Senators then appeared to be in control when Heatley gave the club a 2-0 lead at 15:16 of the second, but Asham cut the lead in half with his first of the year.

After Jay Pandolfo was sent off for hooking five minutes into the third, Redden picked up his own rebound and beat Martin Brodeur. Officials needed to go to review before handing Redden his first goal of the season.

"If it's over by an inch or if it goes through the net, it doesn't really make a difference, we needed that one," said Redden. "Mine just squeaked in. It was a big goal because they came right back (with Parise's) to get one."

The Senators have plenty to be excited about as they prepare to face the Thrashers tomorrow in Atlanta, but coach John Paddock isn't concerned about the club being overconfident.

"I don't think anybody has the time to get caught up in themselves," said Paddock, whose club is playing seven games in 11 days.

"But it's very early ... two points is two points and you have to get as many as you can now because, at some point, there's going to be a dry spell."


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