Alfie: 'We gutted it out'

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 11:39 AM ET

BOSTON -- Guess you could call this win the dirtiest of the dozen.

The Senators needed a shootout to run their best-ever start to 12-1 last night with a 2-1 win against the Bruins, overcoming a sometimes ragged effort and the goaltending of B's 'keeper Tim Thomas, who totalled 78 saves in Ottawa's sweep of their home-and-home series.

Senators Daniel Alfredsson and Antoine Vermette beat Thomas in the shootout after Vermette's short-handed goal early in the third had tied the game.

Senators goaltender Martin Gerber was strong again (21 saves), especially in the shootout as he stoned Bruins Chuck Kobasew (who had the Bruins' goal last night) with his blocker and got his left toe on a deke by Phil Kessel to end it in front of 10,087 at TD Banknorth Garden.

"We gutted it out," said Alfredsson, who beat Thomas low to the stick side shooting first in the shootout. "We started sluggish and turned the puck over. We had to chase the puck all the time, turned it over and chase it again.

"But I thought over the last 40 minutes we were the better team. We deserved to win."

SCORES ON REBOUND

"It wasn't our best game," said Vermette, who jumped on a rebound off the post off a shot by Ottawa defenceman Anton Volchenkov to tie it. "We found a way to get back in the game and get the two points on the road."

Thomas always seems to save his best for the Senators and he kept them at bay until early in the third last night.

So the Senators find yet another way to win in this remarkable start to the season.

The Senators' execution had been lacking for the most part through the first 40 minutes. The power play wound up 0-for-6 after scoring all three goals in the 3-2 win Saturday night.

But the Senators looked smart on the tying goal. Gerber moved the puck from behind the net and the Senators exploded up the ice for a 3-on-2 break.

Volchenkov got the drop pass inside the Boston line and ripped a shot off the post to the right of Thomas and it popped out the other side, leaving Vermette an open net for his third of the season.

Senators coach John Paddock hasn't been shy about defying convention, starting rookie goaltender Brian Elliott in Atlanta (he won) and making a last-minute decision Saturday to move Mike Fisher up to play with Alfredsson and Dany Heatley after seeing the Sabres have success with a gritty guy in front of Thomas.

Fisher wound up scoring two goals on the power play in the victory.

After the win, he completely scrambled his lines for last night's game (Alfredsson with Chris Kelly and Randy Robitaille; Heatley with Fisher and Vermette, for example).

"Give the credit to the players. They found a way to win," said Paddock. "They scored a goal short-handed after so many power plays not finishing or looking good.

"It was good to find a way to win the game."

The Senators looked like they struggled with the changes in the early going of the game as the Bruins had their feet moving much better than in Saturday night's game in Ottawa.

The Senators continue their stretch of six games in 10 days tomorrow night when they host the Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place.


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