NHL Game Summary - Atlanta at Ottawa
(Saturday, December 15th)
Final Score: Ottawa 7, Atlanta 3
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Dany Heatley had a pair of goals as the Ottawa Senators downed the Atlanta Thrashers, 7-3, at Scotiabank Place.
Antoine Vermette had a goal and two assists while Martin Gerber made 22 saves for the Senators, who have a five-game winning streak.
"We were ready to go from the get-go, but we gave them some chances to get back in the game," said Heatley. "But our penalty killers came through when we needed them and that made a big difference."
Ilya Kovalchuk scored a pair of goals for the Thrashers, who have dropped four straight.
Johan Hedberg started the game in net, but was pulled after allowing five goals on 24 shots. Kari Lehtonen finished the game between the pipes and gave up two goals on 20 shots.
"They come hard offensively and we knew that, but we found ourselves down to them early and that makes it tough in their building," said Atlanta coach Don Waddell. "We had opportunities to close the gap and we had that 5-on-3 opportunity and we couldn't score and that was a killer for us."
The Senators got on the board first as Nick Foligno banged in a loose puck that was sitting in the crease just 2:30 into the contest.
Ottawa made it 2-0 at the 10:15 mark of the first as Vermette sent a pass from the low left side to the front of the net where Chris Kelly jammed it in.
Atlanta got a goal back just 11 seconds later as Kovalchuk's quick wrister found the right corner of the net.
However, Ottawa took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission with a power-play goal as Andrej Meszaros' slap shot from the right point beat Hedberg with 5:16 left in the frame.
The Senators made it a 4-1 contest just 1:17 into the second as a slap shot from Joe Corvo in the high slot beat Hedberg for his fifth goal of the year.
Heatley gave Ottawa a 5-1 lead with a quick snapshot from the left circle that beat Hedberg over the left shoulder with 11:39 left in the second.
Hedberg was yanked from the net after the goal and Lehtonen took over.
Atlanta cut its deficit to 5-2 on a 2-on-1 play as Mark Recchi slid a pass from the outside of the left circle to the right where Eric Perrin slammed it home with 4:11 left in the second.
The Thrashers made it a 5-3 game with a goal on a two-man advantage as Kovalchuk's one-timer from the high slot nicked off the glove of Gerber and into the net with 11:21 to play.
Ottawa, though, sealed the win with a goal with 7:16 left in the game. Shortly after an Atlanta two-man advantage expired the puck came out to the neutral zone where Corvo picked it up and from the low left circle dished it out front and Heatley slammed it home to make it a 6-3 game.
Vermette's one-timer over Lehtonen's glove with a minute to play accounted for the final score.
Atlanta hosts Tampa Bay on Tuesday...Ottawa plays in Boston on Tuesday...Kovalchuk, who leads the league with 26 goals, has six goals in three games against Ottawa this season...The Senators have won three straight and four of five overall against Atlanta...The Thrashers went 1-for-6 on the power play while Ottawa finished 1-for-5.
12/15 23:40:09 ET