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Senators blank Devils 3-0 for sixth win in a row

by John Kreiser

The Ottawa Senators are so hot they even found a way to beat the New Jersey Devils.

New Jersey had won the last nine meetings between the teams. But the Senators got 24 saves from Brian Elliott and goals by Alex Kovalev, Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza as they beat the Devils 3-0 on Tuesday night, their first win over New Jersey since Oct. 27, 2007.

The Senators won their sixth in a row overall, while the Devils lost for the fifth time in seven games. The last time the Senators won seven straight was during an eight-game win streak from Oct. 13-Nov. 6, 2007.

Elliott, the NHL's First Star last week, was rarely tested as he earned his first shutout of the season and the fourth of his career. It was his first win ever against Brodeur, who hadn't lost in Ottawa since Oct. 8, 2007.

"It's not so much against him, it's against the team and they play a patient game and pounce on opportunities when you give them to them," Elliott said. "And we really didn't give them opportunities tonight and I think that was the key to the victory."

Devils coach Jacques Lemaire agreed that he team didn't generate much offense.

"In our plays tonight, we were very predictable," Lemaire said. "I felt that offensively we were very easy to play against. All of our plays, there was hesitation on the pass: look at the guy, wait a second and then you make the pass. Well, everyone knows the puck's going there. Against a team that can create a lot and is good with the puck, you can't play that way."

Brodeur fell to 34-19-4 all-time against Ottawa.

"I think we let them dictate the game," Brodeur said. "I think they definitely are playing well but for us it's not acceptable the way we competed against a team like them. But they played well, they did the right things defensively and offensively to win this game."

Kovalev opened the scoring midway 9:12 into the game, taking a great feed from Nick Foligno and beating Martin Brodeur with a wrist shot. It became 2-0 at 18:42 when Michalek tipped in Chris Campoli's shot from the blue line.

Spezza made it 3-0 at 15:47 of the second, tipping in Filip Kuba's shot for his seventh of the season and second in as many games since returning from a knee injury that sidelined him for 20 games.

With his team going nowhere and a game at Buffalo on Wednesday night, Devils coach Jacques Lemaire gave Brodeur the third period off.

"We lost three games against them earlier this season, so it was nice to get three goals and it was nice to see him get out," Michalek said. "They probably wanted to rest him, but it was nice to see."

Yann Danis finished after Brodeur was lifted for the third time in 10 games. Brodeur made only 9 saves on 12 shots.

"It's not the first time and it won't be the last," Brodeur said of being lifted.

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

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