NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Ottawa
(Saturday, February 9th)
Final Score: Ottawa 6, Montreal 1
Ottawa, ON (Sports Network) - Jason Spezza scored his first career hat trick, and tacked on three assists, as the Ottawa Senators celebrated the return of Daniel Alfredsson by thrashing the Montreal Canadiens, 6-1, at Scotiabank Place.
Spezza's six points were a career high, and he headlined Ottawa's ultra- successful top line Saturday. Alfredsson, the Senators' captain, returned after missing the past four games with a hip injury, and had two goals and three assists.
Dany Heatley, who returned Thursday after missing 11 games with a separated right shoulder, notched a goal and three assists. It was the trio's first time playing together since January 12.
"We all felt good coming into the game tonight. When Spezza got the first one early and then the second goal came so quickly, it was great for us. It was nice for the three of us to be back together again," Heatley said.
Ray Emery made 33 saves for the Senators, who have won two in a row and are now five points ahead of Montreal at the top of the Northeast Division.
Andrei Kostitsyn had the only goal for Montreal, which has lost two in a row. Starter Cristobal Huet gave up three goals on four shots before being lifted for Carey Price, who stopped 22 shots in a losing effort.
A reloaded Ottawa squad wasted little time taking the lead, scoring three goals in the game's first five minutes.
After Spezza won a face-off to the right of the Montreal net, he skated to the slot and tipped in Anton Volchenkov's slap shot from the blue line merely 22 seconds into the game.
Just over a minute later, Heatley raced toward the net from the left side, and tried to tuck a shot in by the post. Huet fell over on his left side while the puck trickled into the crease. Spezza was there to poke the puck into a wide open net at the 1:42 mark.
Ottawa then took a 3-0 lead on Alfredsson's team-leading 33rd goal of the season. On a rush, Alfredsson dished the puck from the left side of the ice to Joseph Corvo on the right. Joe Corvo returned the favor, and the super Swede blasted a one-timer past Huet at 4:45.
The lamp had barely been lit when Price started putting on his helmet, as Huet's day was over. The Senators recorded only six shots on net in the first period, while the Canadiens had rather bad luck -- they had no goals on 12 shots, saw a shot ring off the post, and watched Emery snatch away a sure goal trickling just a foot from the goal line.
"We didn't battle all game. We didn't respond to their top line. Three goals in the first three shots; that's your game right there," Montreal head coach Guy Carbonneau said. "I can't see too many positives coming out of this game."
Ottawa didn't score again until the midway point of the second period, when Heatley maneuvered through the slot with the puck and beat Price. With 6:24 left in the same frame, Spezza completed the hat trick, and gave Ottawa a 5-0 lead with a power-play goal.
"It was just one of those nights where the puck followed me," Spezza said. "The first couple of shifts told me it was going to be a good night...It's a small monkey off my back after so many two-goal games."
Montreal finally got on the board with 25 seconds left in the second period, with a two-man advantage. Kostitsyn tapped in a pass while skating near the left post from his brother Sergei.
Alfredsson added his second goal, also on the power play, 2:28 into the third period to cap the scoring. Heatley and Spezza once again provided support on the tally.
Spezza has had 14 two-goal games in his career, and had a five-point game last season. He recorded a goal and four assists on October 26, 2006 against Toronto...Huet fell to 4-6-0-1 against Ottawa...The Senators were 2-for-4 on power plays, while the Canadiens were 1-for-7...Ottawa hosts Buffalo on Tuesday, while Montreal travels to Tampa Bay also Tuesday.
02/09 22:46:27 ET