Sens scratch past Cats

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:33 AM ET

The Senators are off to cottage country now for a retreat, but they showed last night their game is going nowhere but straight ahead.

"It's going to be extra fun for the next few days. We're in a good frame of mind," said captain Daniel Alfredsson, whose sixth goal of the season capped the Senators' 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers last night at Scotiabank Place.

The Senators overcame the loss of shutdown defenceman Anton Volchenkov -- kicked out early in the second with a boarding major and a game misconduct -- and battled through a chippy game to help goaltender Ray Emery to a win in his season debut.

ENJOY TIME OFF

Now they are off to the Muskoka region north of Toronto for three days to kill some time during a six-day break. The Senators don't play again until Saturday in Newark where they will help the New Jersey Devils open their new building, the Prudential Center.

With an 8-1 record, they can enjoy the time off.

The Senators also got goals last night from Mike Fisher, Shean Donovan (his first as a Senator) and Christoph Schubert.

Schubert also added an assist and defenceman Andrej Meszaros played his best game in a long time, adding two helpers.

Emery, who had wrist surgery during the off-season, made 31 saves.

"I felt good considering I hadn't played an NHL game for a while," said Emery, who last NHL action was in the Stanley Cup final in June.

He was beaten only by Florida's Richard Zednik during that major to Volchenkov, which came after the A-Train and Florida forward David Booth came together in the corner with Volchenkov checking him into the boards.

"He just turned into me," said Volchenkov.

Booth crumpled to the ice, was taken off on a stretcher and then to hospital, but he apparently will be okay.

It wasn't the first incident like that in the game. Senators winger Nick Foligno left the game with what was called a strained neck after he was hit face-first into the boards behind the Florida net by defenceman Branislav Mezei.

There was a delayed penalty on the play, but it was wiped out when Fisher followed up on his own rebound to open the scoring at 2:09 of the second period.

GREAT POISE

Donovan scored to make it 2-0 just 62 seconds after Fisher's goal when his shot along the ice from the far hashmark beat Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun to the short side.

The Senators continue to show remarkable poise.

"I think what helps the most is our team is a more mature team, a hungrier team," said Senators coach John Paddock, pointing at the experience of going to the final last year as the reason. They're at a different level that way."

"I think we feel that we don't have to force things," said Alfredsson. "We're not going to win every game, but we're doing a good job of paying attention to details. We don't take our success for granted."


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