OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators came out flying to keep their unbeaten
streak going after considering themselves fortunate to be in the game through
the first two periods.
Daniel Alfredsson and Bryan Smolinski scored two goals each and Ottawa
extended its season-high unbeaten streak to nine games with a 5-2 win over the
Washington Capitals on Saturday night.
Tied at 1-1 after two periods, the Senators scored four times in the third.
"It didn't seem like we had a lot of jump tonight early on," Alfredsson
said. "We couldn't get in forechecking a lot, and the few shifts we did, we
created some chances.
"But we came out with more energy in the third and we were able to get some
more pressure, and we really put them on their backs."
Alfredsson scored a power-play goal 4:53 into the period, and then put
Ottawa up 3-0 with his second goal of the game -- his 16th of the season --
midway through the period.
Smolinski, who tied it in the second, got his second of the game with 1:21
remaining -- the first of two empty-net goals scored by the Senators within 19
Chris Neil scored the other empty-netter for Ottawa, which has won four in a
row and is 7-0-2 over the course of the streak.
"We just had to stick with it," Neil said. "It was just a matter of
Jeff Halpern and Robert Lang scored for Washington, winless in five (0-4-1).
"We had a lead, and we've led in four of the last six games, or something
like that, and we haven't been able to hold on," Halpern said. "Once you
start losing it's hard to get out of that rut, and we're in that rut right
Ottawa right wing Martin Havlat missed the game as he began serving a
two-game suspension for kicking New York Islanders defenseman Eric Cairns in
Thursday's 1-0 win.
Senators backup Martin Prusek made 14 saves. He started in place of Patrick
Lalime, whose wife gave birth to the couple's second child earlier Saturday.
Halpern scored a power-play goal 5:08 into the second to give Washington a
Smolinski tied it at 14:31, beating Olaf Kolzig after taking a
between-the-legs drop pass from Jason Spezza.
"It was a great play," Smolinski said. "I was just lucky to get it on
After Alfredsson drove a slap shot through Kolzig's legs to put Ottawa
ahead, he got his second goal in a span of 5:32. He put a wrist shot inside the
right post off a faceoff in the Capitals' zone at 10:25 to make it 3-1.
Lang scored his 20th with 2:19 remaining to draw Washington within 3-2, but
Smolinski and Neil sealed the win with empty-net goals with just over one