Giant leap for Foligno

Senators defenceman Wade Redden (right) celebrates his first period goal against the Canadiens on...

Senators defenceman Wade Redden (right) celebrates his first period goal against the Canadiens on Thursday. (Sun Media/Tony Caldwell)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:37 AM ET

Jason Spezza's first goal of the season was a big one.

He wasn't last night's only hero, though.

While Nick Foligno scored his first NHL goal, it was Spezza's effort with only 6:45 left in the third that turned out to be the winner in a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens in front of 20,019 fans at Scotiabank Place.

Spezza's first goal since April 7 broke a 3-3 tie. Winger Dany Heatley and defenceman Wade Redden also scored for the Senators and captain Daniel Alfredsson had a three-point night.

Still, it will be Foligno who is going to remember this night the most.

The 19-year-old Foligno delivered by scoring his first NHL goal four minutes into the second as the Senators improved their record to 7-1.

Foligno said his Senators teammates asked him to jump into the air after his first NHL -- just like his dad Mike did when he played in the league.

"That was a thing the guys wanted me to do," said Foligno. "That was also a tribute to do for dad because he had a long career.

"I definitely won't be doing that anymore."

Fortunately, Foligno was handed the souvenir puck by winger Chris Neil.

"It's a thrill for Nick to score his first goal in the NHL," said Senators coach John Paddock. "He's worked hard from the start and (Spezza) was probably due. It was a timely goal."

Spezza's winner came on an Alfredsson rebound from Price just moments after Montreal winger Alexei Kovalev had tied the game.

"It felt good to score to the goal," said Spezza. "I'd by lying if I said it didn't."

Don't be surprised if goalie Ray Emery, recovered from off-season wrist surgery, starts in tomorrow's visit by the Florida Panthers.

Martin Gerber has six of the club's seven victories, but the Senators would like to get Emery into a game.

Gerber didn't look good on the Habs' first goal. Returning after being a healthy scratch Tuesday, Guillaume Latendresse threw the puck out from behind the goal line and it bounced off Gerber's stick into the net.

Even the officials couldn't believe Latendresse had scored from there so they went upstairs to the replay booth to make sure that it hadn't somehow gone underneath the net.

The Senators lost winger Antoine Vermette in the first period with back spasms. He has missed the last three days of practice, but felt he was ready to suit up.


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