The Senators look like they're on the road back.
Starting a difficult three-game Western swing Tuesday at Rexall Place, centre Matt Cullen, acquired at the NHL trade deadline, scored the third period winner as the Senators halted a three-game losing streak with a 4-1 victory over the sad-sack Edmonton Oilers.
Cullen, who doubles in a role playing a point on the power play, scored with the man advantage from the top of the circle at 8:24 of the third to set up the win while captain Daniel Alfredsson had a three-point effort after missing Saturday's game against Toronto because of the flu.
Defenceman Erik Karlsson, centre Jason Spezza and Chris Kelly chipped in with two-point efforts. Mike Fisher and Milan Michalek completed the scoring in the third, when the Senators finally got to goalie Jeff Deslauriers and were able to put it away.
Goaltender Brian Elliott picked up the victory, but he wasn't tested all that much. Coach Cory Clouston's decision to start Elliott after Pascal Leclaire made 30 saves in Saturday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Maple Leafs came as a bit of a surprise.
"I think Brian's numbers speak for themselves," said Clouston before the game. "He's played very well in the last 25 games."
It took a while, but the Senators finally solved Deslauriers at 16:18 of the second period on the club's 23rd shot to tie it up 1-1 after 40 minutes. Yes, Deslauriers had made some spectacular saves, but he didn't look good as Kelly scored from a bad angle down low.
Kelly beat Deslauriers with a shot between the skate and the post for his 12th of the season. Up until then, Deslauriers, who made 25 stops through 40 minutes, had frustrated the Senators.
Deslauriers may have made his best save of the night off Fisher midway through the second. He was able to get his glove on a puck in front with the Senators applying all kinds of pressure. At one point, Oilers coach Pat Quinn called a timeout to give his team a rest.
The Senators may have had the better opportunities on Deslauriers, but it was Fernando Pisani who opened the scoring at 4:27 of the second. He picked up a rebound of a Aaron Johnson shot from the point and threw it over top of a sprawling Elliott and into the net.
Elliott made a good stop on Mike Comrie in the first when he was awarded a penalty shot with 2:17 left after being interfered with by Brian Lee on a partial breakaway. Comrie tried to go stick side, but Elliott followed him all the way and easily made the save.
There were plenty of fireworks in the first.
While the Senators completely outplayed the Oilers, they couldn't solve Deslauriers. He was on fire and pulled one off the goal line with only 44.1 seconds left on the clock to keep the game tied 0-0 after the first.
With Fisher trying to throw a pass across the crease, the puck bounced off Edmonton's Taylor Chorney and looked like it beat Deslauriers on the glove side. The officials were forced to go upstairs and it was ruled the puck never crossed the goal-line.
Of course, it could have been different if the Senators were able to get their power play going. The club went 0-for-4 in the first and had a two-man advantage midway through and had only one shot.
Edmonton's Zack Stortini may have stoked the fire a little bit by dropping the gloves with Ottawa's Matt Carkner.
Not only did Stortini take more shots from Carkner in the fight, Stortini also took an instigator penalty.
The road trip continues Thursday in Calgary against the Flames at the Pengrowth SaddleDome.