That's more like it!

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:06 AM ET

STOCKHOLM -- So that's what Hartsburg hockey looks like.

Battles won along the boards. Near-perfect special teams. Opposing players on their faces in front of the Senators net (when did you last see that?).

The Senators got Craig Hartsburg his first win behind the Ottawa bench and flew home happy last night, with three of four points from their European experience after a 3-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Globe arena.

Goalie Alex Auld, making his Senators debut, picked up the win and will leave the Senators with an interesting question to mull over: After Martin Gerber struggled in his debut Saturday in an overtime loss, who gets the start Saturday when the Senators play their home opener against the Detroit Red Wings?

For now, the Senators can savour the win.

"We had no passengers in doing all the little things," said Hartsburg. "We chipped pucks, we didn't turn many pucks over, we won a lot of one-on-one battles. That's a great team win.

"If we compete and work like that every night, we'll do some good things."

Dany Heatley scored Ottawa's first two goals, both on the power play, and dove to block a shot on the penalty kill. He also jumped to Daniel Alfredsson's aid when the captain was being roughed up by Brooks Orpik.

"As a group, that was a big weekend for us," said Heatley. "We were hungry for these two games. We felt we could have won that game (Saturday)."

Antoine Vermette got his first goal of the season on a breakaway late in the third to ice it and Auld lost his shutout bid with just just two seconds left in the game on the Penguins' first power-play goal in 14 chances on the weekend.

Captain Daniel Alfredsson, who assisted on both of Heatley's goals, had a nice ending to his dream homecoming and happily tossed his gloves and helmet into the adoring crowd after the game.

KUBA A WORKHORSE

Defenceman Filip Kuba was a workhorse, clocking 55 minutes and 52 seconds in the two games, with four assists. Jesse Winchester got his first NHL point and was impressive with his poise and strength on the puck. Jarkko Ruutu handed out hits and ragged on Penguins star Sidney Crosby, who was held to two assists in the two games.

Hartsburg was brought in by GM Bryan Murray to get the Senators to "play the right way," being tougher in battles for the puck, tighter defensively and paying more attention to detail on special teams. After losing in overtime Saturday, they can say they took care of all of the above yesterday.

One of the things Hartsburg wants to do is get more people involved on a more regular basis. He used more than half of his forwards in penalty-killing roles over the course of the two games. Auld was efficient and well-positioned while making 30 saves.

"You come to a new team and you want to show what you can do early on," said Auld. "I felt really good about my game tonight."

Alfredsson was happy with the way the win was achieved.

"It couldn't have been much better," he said of his homecoming. "Three out of four points and the way we played, I think, is encouraging. Heater stepped up with two big goals and showed the way and we kept them in check throughout the game, I thought. They had some chances, but Alex played really well in net. I think we have to be really happy with this."


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