Elliott steps in for injured Leclaire, beats Canes
Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:09 AM
The Ottawa Senators
won a game and lost a goaltender.
The Senators went home with two points Thursday night when Mike Fisher scored his second goal of the game on a power play with 5:57 left in regulation for a 3-2 victory against the Carolina Hurricanes
But they got their first victory of the season without goaltender Pascal Leclaire, who left with a lower-body injury in the first period after a couple of collisions and did not return. Leclaire had made three saves when he left 2:06 into the game after a goalmouth collision with Hurricanes forward Tom Kostopoulos. The Senators said he had a lower-body injury.
Brian Elliott replaced Leclaire and got the win by making 19 saves in his first action of the season. Milan Michalek
also scored for the Senators (1-2-1).
"It was good to get that first win," Fisher said. "Now hopefully it will get us rolling."
Elliott had not played a minute since the Senators' final preseason game.
"Sometimes it's easier just to hop in there when the adrenaline's pumping to get the legs going," he said. "Your alertness is high, but the guys did a good job keeping everything from the outside and I had to make a couple of saves early, just to get me in the game, and we went from there."
The loss was the first of the season for Carolina, which was making its first appearance of the season in North America after opening the season by beating Minnesota twice at the Compuware NHL Premiere in Helsinki, Finland.
"We've had time to adjust to the East Coast time zone again and had a couple of good practices before we headed out here to Ottawa," said Ward, who kept his team in the game with 36 saves. "I don't think you'll find anybody using that as an excuse."
Fisher broke a 2-2 tie when he ripped a slap shot from the slot past Cam Ward
after Carolina got goals from Sergei Samsonov and Eric Staal
1:39 apart earlier in the final period to overcome a 2-0 deficit. Fisher's goal was the Senators' first of the season on the power play -- Jussi Jokinen
was serving a four-minute high-sticking call.
"The timing of it was perfect," Senators coach Cory Clouston said of Fisher's winner.
Fisher opened the scoring when his high shot appeared to hit Jokinen, popped into the air and went into the net 17:39 into the game for his first goal of the season. Milan Michalek
made it 2-0 with his first goal at 10:23 of the second, finishing a nice passing play with linemates Daniel Alfredsson
and Jason Spezza
Samsonov, who made his season debut after recovering from a neck injury, got the 'Canes on the board at 7:20 of the third when he beat Elliott after taking Staal's set-up pass 21 seconds after Michalek was called for interference. Staal tied it when he guided a pass by Eric Cole past Elliott at 8:59.
"Tonight we just weren't moving," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "We just didn't have any jump so we left it to our goaltender to bail us out of some of the strange decisions that we made and he did so that's how you get a chance to win games when you're not good and we weren't very good."
Material from team media and wire services was used in this report