Elliott deals with Devils

BRUCE GARRIOCH, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:04 AM ET

Even the best goalie in the business was no match for Brian Elliott and the sizzling Senators Tuesday night.

In a showdown against Martin Brodeur and the Devils, the Senators measured up in a big way, rolling to a 3-0 victory on the strength of a 24-save performance by Elliott as Ottawa extended its winning streak to seven games.

The Senators ended a nine-game winless streak against the Devils that dated back to Oct. 27, 2007, chasing Brodeur, who was replaced after allowing three goals on 12 shots. Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek and Alex Kovalev scored for Ottawa.

“This game meant a lot to us because we feel like they’re one of the elite teams in the East and we’d lost three in a row to them (this season),” said Spezza. “There’s a possibility of facing them somewhere down the road and you don’t want them with a 4-0 record and having that confidence against you.”

Elliott, who has won the last five games of the streak, recorded his fourth career shutout.

“That’s a team shutout,” said Elliott. “Everybody did a good job in front of me. It makes it a lot easier on you when you’re in the net. It was a good team effort.”

Ottawa has outscored opponents 20-7 during its seven-game run and can tie a franchise-high set in November 2007 if it can get No. 8 Thursday night in Pittsburgh.

Elliott, the NHL’s first star of the week with his four wins last week, picked up right where he left off in Saturday’s 2-1 victory over Boston. He was strong, challenged the shooters and made a big save on Zach Parise on a short first-period breakaway.

“When we needed (Elliott) he was very solid,” said Senators coach Cory Clouston. “I thought he was able to see just about every shot. The defencemen did a great job clearing the front of the net and we kept most of the shots from the perimeter. He just looked very confident back there.”

With the Devils preparing to face the Sabres Wednesday in Buffalo, coach Jacques Lemaire decided to save Brodeur after 40 minutes and let Yann Danis finish the game.

“We’re facing teams at full strength and we’re a bit shorthanded,” said Brodeur. “We made it easy for them. (Parise) had a couple of chances in the first and after that it was pretty thin. They scored two goals and that was it.”

The Senators pulled out to a 3-0 lead on strength Spezza’s seventh goal of the season at 15:47 of the second period.

Defenceman Filip Kuba did a great job redirecting the puck down to low to Spezza, who tipped it past Brodeur.

The Senators held a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes and it could have been a lot worse for the Devils. Winger Jonathan Cheechoo was denied a goal with 2:44 remaining in the period after replay officials ruled he had kicked the puck into the net.

But the Senators were able to get that back before the end of the period. Michalek gave the club the two-goal lead when tipped defenceman Chris Campoli’s point shot past Brodeur with only 1:18 left.

Kovalev opened the scoring after good work in the corner by Nick Foligno to hold onto the puck. Foligno whipped the puck out front to Kovalev, who fired it through Brodeur’s legs at 9:12.

That goal extended Kovalev’s point-scoring streak to seven games (two goals and six assists).

Foligno said the Senators did a good job getting pressure.

“We obviously know (Brodeur) is a great goaltender and we just wanted to get pucks at him,” said Foligno. “The key was working low and cycling the puck. We had some key goals from a lot of guys and that’s what we need to be successful.

The Senators’ game in Pittsburgh on Thursday (7 p.m., TSN) is Ottawa’s final regular-season visit to the Igloo.


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