OTTAWA (AP) -Ray Emery made himself right at home in goal for the Ottawa Senators.
Making his first regular-season NHL start since offseason wrist surgery, Emery made 31 saves to help the Senators beat the Florida Panthers 4-1 on Saturday night.
"I thought the team played really well and I felt pretty good in there. Kind of like I expected," Emery said. "It's a situation where I know the team is going to play well, so I just have to play solid so it makes it easier to come back from an injury. It was a welcome change to get back in a game."
Before returning to the NHL, Emery played two games last weekend for the Senators' AHL affiliate in Binghamton, stopping 80 of 86 shots. He'll have to wait a week for his next start, with the Senators off until facing the New Jersey Devils at the new Prudential Center in Newark next Saturday.
Mike Fisher and Shean Donovan scored second-period goals for the Senators, and Christoph Schubert and Daniel Alfredsson scored in the third.
The Panthers got their lone goal on a power play in the second period when Richard Zednik stuffed a loose puck between Emery and the goal post.
"The main focus was to get pucks on net, get a lot of traffic and hopefully get a couple by him," Panthers forward Anthony Stewart said. "We really didn't stick to the game plan. We stuck in there early but their guns took over towards the end."
Tomas Vokoun made 43 saves for Florida.
Senators rookie Nick Foligno left in the second period after getting hit from behind into the boards by Panthers defenseman Branislav Mezei.
A penalty was coming on the play, but Fisher scored at 2:09 to give the Senators a 1-0 lead. Foligno had a neck sprain and didn't return.
After the Senators took a 2-0 lead on Donovan's first goal of the season at 3:11, Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov was assessed a major penalty for hitting from behind and a game misconduct when he ran David Booth into the end boards.
Booth stayed on the ice for several minutes before being taken off on a stretcher. He was conscious and alert and able to move his arms and legs, but was taken to the Ottawa Civic Hospital as a precautionary measure.
Zednik scored on the ensuing power play at 5:29.
After scoring at least a point in the first eight games, Jason Spezza was pointless.
"I thought our line was pretty good. We've had worse games and gotten points and tonight we played pretty good and didn't get one," Spezza said. "The most important thing is we're 8-1 and we've had a god first stretch to the season."
Notes: Dany Heatley, Chris Kelly and Andrej Meszaros have played in all of the Senators' 173 regular-season games since the NHL returned from the lockout in 2005-06. ... Panthers forward Olli Jokinen has played in 302 consecutive games. ... The Senators are 7-0 when they score first and 0-1 when the opposition scores first.
|Mike Fisher (2) ASST: Chris Neil (1), Anton Volchenkov (2)|
1 - 0 OTT
|Shean Donovan (1) ASST: Christoph Schubert (1), Brian McGrattan (1)|
2 - 0 OTT
|PPG - Richard Zednik (2) ASST: NONE|
2 - 1 OTT
|PPG - Christoph Schubert (1) ASST: Andrej Meszaros (3), Randy Robitaille (1)|
3 - 1 OTT
|Daniel Alfredsson (6) ASST: Andrej Meszaros (4)|
4 - 1 OTT
|Dany Heatley Interference against David Booth|
|Ruslan Salei Hooking against Christoph Schubert|
|Radek Dvorak Hooking against Mike Fisher|
|Richard Zednik Holding against Daniel Alfredsson|
|Anton Volchenkov Boarding (maj) against David Booth|
|Anton Volchenkov Game misconduct against David Booth|
|Dany Heatley Unsportsmanlike conduct|
|Bryan Allen Roughing against Dany Heatley|
|Dany Heatley Slashing against Bryan Allen|
|Nathan Horton Holding the stick against Chris Phillips|
|Andrej Meszaros Tripping against Ruslan Salei|
|Branislav Mezei Interference against Patrick Eaves|
|Radek Dvorak Holding against Joe Corvo|
|Dany Heatley Cross checking against Ville Peltonen|