Senators light up Dubie

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

The Senators are Martin Gerber's team now.

The chant, which started in the rafters at Scotiabank Place, went up in the first period last night as the Senators goalie made save after save.

"Gerber, Gerber, Gerber," the faithful yelled.

While backup goalie Ray Emery threw a fit during yesterday's morning skate, it was Gerber who was giving the Islanders fits with his 19th victory of the season in a 5-2 win in front of 20,268.

"It was nice (to hear the fans). It doesn't happen too often," Gerber said with a smile. "It's better than the other way around. It was great."

The Senators, who entered the game with only one home win in their past outings at Scotiabank Place, extended their winning streak to three straight on the strength of goals from Jason Spezza, Daniel Alfredsson, Antoine Vermette, Nick Foligno and Mike Fisher.

While Gerber was helping to secure the win, the Senators were taking advantage of the fact the Isles were without top goalie Rick DiPietro, who was back in Long Island nursing a knee sprain, which meant Wade Dubielewicz was thrown to the wolves vs. Ottawa.

Spezza, who had two points against the Isles, led the charge and extended his point-scoring streak to nine straight games -- eight goals and 11 assists in that stretch.

Gerber, who made 25 saves last night after beating the Sabres 3-1 in Buffalo on Boxing Day, kept the Isles at bay for two periods before Bill Guerin broke the shutout bid with two goals in the third.

A flurry of saves by Gerber on New York's Josef Vasicek in the first had the fans on their feet.

"When we made mistakes early in the game, he was right there," Senators coach John Paddock said of Gerber. "You're not going to tamper with something that's working."

The Senators' top line of Dany Heatley, Spezza and Alfredsson could see the Isles were wounded with DiPietro sidelined and picked up their play a notch.

Dubielewicz did everything he could to shut down Ottawa's big guns, but he couldn't hold them off the scoreboard forever.

Alfredsson gave the Senators a 2-0 lead at 2:44 of the second. Breaking in on a 2-on-1, he took a perfect feed from Spezza and beat Dubielewicz with a bullet shot.

Only minutes earlier, Ottawa scored its first 5-on-3 goal in 11 attempts this season when Spezza took a cross-crease pass from Heatley and beat Dubielewicz on the glove side for his 300th career point.


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