Newcomer Hemsky has 3 assists in Senators 5-3 win
WINNIPEG, Manitoba (AP) Ales Hemsky admitted he was feeling down after being traded to Ottawa from Edmonton last Wednesday.
But his mood picked up after he had three assists in the struggling Senators’ 5-3 win over the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday.
”It’s weird,” said Hemsky, who is in his 11th NHL season. ”You spend your whole career in one place and then you kind of realize you’ve come to the end. It’s sad because I had a lot of great people there, even the locker room was great, and everybody treated me really well.
”I was sad, but in the end I was excited to come here and play those type of games and battle for the playoffs.”
It was Hemsky’s second game and first points with Ottawa since he was traded and slotted on to the Senators’ top line.
Milan Michalek scored the game’s first goal during a power play with an assist from Hemsky and center Jason Spezza, who had three assists.
”He’s an extremely offensively talented player,” Spezza said of Hemsky. ”I seem like I can read off him fairly easily. I’ve watched him play a lot. He’s really good with the puck, he’s got that short stick, protects it really well and is a good passer.”
Defensemen Jared Cowen and Eric Gryba, and Kyle Turris and Mike Hoffman also scored for Ottawa (28-25-11), which had lost two straight and four of five.
Spezza said the Senators aren’t satisfied with a split of their four-game trip that included a win over Vancouver and losses to Edmonton and Calgary.
”It’s nice to get the win and get two points and get moving in the right direction again, but no, we’re not happy with .500 out of this trip,” Spezza said. ”We’re fighting for the playoffs. We needed more points than that.”
Turris’ goal was his 21st of season, and Hoffman netted his first. Both players also had an assist. Craig Anderson stopped 46 shots for the Senators.
Bryan Little scored his 20th of the season, and Tobias Enstrom and Dustin Byfuglien also had goals for Winnipeg (30-28-7).
Ondrej Pavelec started in goal for the Jets, but was replaced in the second period by Al Montoya after giving up five goals on 20 shots. Montoya stopped all 12 shots he faced.
Winnipeg coach Paul Maurice didn’t hang the loss on Pavelec.
”I know he didn’t have a chance on the first three (goals),” Maurice said. ”The fourth is a play that’s going behind the net, and it’s a laser. If he gets that one, it’s as much luck as it is positioning on that one.
”I’ve got no problem with him. I didn’t take him out to do anything other than calm the bench. He had seen enough.”
The Jets have lost three straight, including an overtime defeat to the New York Islanders and a regulation loss versus Los Angeles.
The Senators led 2-1 after the first period and 5-2 following the second.
”Anytime you’re a team that’s going through what we’re going through at this point, when you have the lead, no lead is safe until the game is over,” Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. ”I think that was the case with us.
”I thought they came with a push, but at the end of the day I thought our goaltender held the fort for us really well.”
Michalek scored his 11th of the season at 9:54 of the first period with a deflection off a Jets defender just 20 seconds after defenseman Zach Bogosian went off for holding.
The goal was reviewed to determine if the puck had fully crossed the line behind Pavelec.
The Jets tied it while Ottawa’s Chris Neil served an interference penalty. Little got his stick on a rebound and sent a backhanded shot over a stretched-out Anderson at 16:59.
But Ottawa went back in front just 38 seconds later when Cowen scored with a shot from the point.
Winnipeg had a two-man advantage for 70 seconds in the period, but couldn’t capitalize.
Gryba scored 2:03 into the second during a play in which Jets defenseman Mark Stuart slid into Pavelec and sent him rolling at the side of the net.
Winnipeg regrouped, and Evander Kane won a faceoff and sent it back to Enstrom, who blasted a shot past Anderson at 4:15 while Cowen was off for slashing.
Turris then took a pass from Hoffman as he was going behind the net and beat Pavelec at 8:58 to make it 4-2.
Ottawa sent Pavelec to the bench when Hoffman made it 5-2 at 9:36 of second. Winnipeg had a 27-25 advantage in shots through two periods.
Byfuglien scored an unassisted goal with a slap shot 2:13 into the third period for his 14th of the season.
He said the team has to move on from this loss.
”Couple of tough bounces,” Byfuglien said. ”Pav has been doing everything to keep us in every game.”
Ottawa was 2 for 4 on the power play. The Jets went 2 for 7.
NOTES: The Jets are 11-5-2 since head coach Paul Maurice took over on Jan. 12. … Spezza has two goals and nine assists in the last eight games.