NHL Game Summary - Washington at Ottawa
(Tuesday, January 16th)
Final Score: Ottawa 5, Washington 2
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Mike Comrie had a pair of goals as the streaking Ottawa Senators skated past the Washington Capitals, 5-2, at Scotiabank Place.
Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Schaefer each had a goal and an assist, and Andrej Maszaros also tallied for the Senators, who have won five straight and are 10-1-1 in their last 12 games. During the current five-game stretch, Ottawa has totaled at least five goals in each contest and is outscoring opponents by a 30-12 margin. Ray Emery also made 28 saves between the pipes.
"We're playing smart," said Comrie. "We're capitalizing on our opportunities. We've got a great team led by some great players and being in a hockey market is a lot of fun. When you win hockey games it makes the game easier and makes the job of the players a little more fun. We know we have to continue to work hard because that's the reason we're winning."
Chris Clark and Steve Eminger scored for the Capitals, who have lost three in a row, all on the road, surrendering 17 goals during the skid. Brent Johnson had a rough night, surrendering all five goals on 34 shots faced.
"They keyed in on our top guys," explained Johnson. "They shot Dainius Zubrus, Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin down. When they do that it's left up to the rest of the guys to start chipping in, getting physical on them because if they're shutting our top line down, our other guys have got to do it. That's the key. Everyone contributes and that's where we're in a little funk right now. I think that everyone was very confident at the start of the game, but then we got different bounces here and there. It could have been a different game."
After scoreless play through nearly 17 minutes, the Senators jumped on top with just over three minutes remaining in the opening period. The exemplary play of Alfredsson set up the score, as the team captain corralled the puck, weaved around a couple defenders above the left circle, then regained the disc and dished to Meszaros. The defenseman finished the play by ripping a scorching slapshot from just inside the blue line over the glove of Johnson to make it 1-0.
Then, taking advantage of a power play opportunity, Ottawa quickly lit the lamp again, thanks to a defensive breakdown in front of the netminder. Johnson stopped several attempts by Dany Heatley, who eventually stuffed the disc through the five-hole. The puck then ran through the crease and Comrie was on the doorstep to stuff home the rebound shot with 27 ticks remaining in the stanza.
Still short-handed, the Caps fired back just 24 seconds later thanks to an Ottawa turnover at center ice. Clark and Eminger went the other way in an odd-man rush, and Clark sent a wrist shot past Emery into the lower left corner of the net, cutting the Caps' deficit to 2-1 heading into the break.
Alfredsson's tally made it 3-1 in the middle stanza, as the Swedish veteran was the benefactor of another mistake by the Caps deep in their own zone. Brian Pothier attempted to clear the puck from behind the net, but the disc deflected off the back of the near post and right to Alfredsson, who fired a wrist shot past Johnson at 9:14.
Comrie then tallied his second of the night a little more than a minute later, opening a 4-1 Ottawa lead on the heels of another quick offensive attack. The speedy center picked up a cross-ice feed from Schaefer, who came blazing along the left boards, then used a wrist shot to send the puck high into the top corner of the net for his 11th marker of the season.
Washington pounded the lower part of the net in the third, as Boyd Gordon and several other teammates took whacks at the puck, which ricocheted back out in front of the net. Eminger then moved in and lifted a shot past Emery and underneath the crossbar to close the gap to 4-2 at 15:35.
Ottawa added an insurance goal with 7:24 to play, as Schaefer used a nifty move to get around a Caps defender, collected the puck and snapped it toward the net all in one move, besting Johnson to make it 5-2.
"It's nice to score goals and it's nice to keep winning," said Alfredsson. "They played hard and they battled throughout the whole game. We kind of had trouble getting our offense going. Emery did a good job when we needed him and overall we just scored some timely goals. Obviously, we knew how important this home stretch was and we had to make the most of it. So far we've done that. Hopefully we can finish off with two more wins before the break to really put ourselves in a good position."
Ottawa has won five games in a row for the first time since February 11-March 6 of last season...Alfredsson and linemate Healey are both riding five-game point streaks. Alfredsson has five goals and nine assists for 14 points during the streak, while Heatley has five goals and seven assists for 12 points...Ovechkin notched an assist, running his point streak to six games (3G, 10A)...Comrie has five points in his last four games (4G, 1A)... Washington was 0-for-5 on power play chances, while Ottawa finished 1- for-4.
01/16 23:53:18 ET