Senators 3, Canucks 1
The Vancouver Canucks’ NHL-record trip got just a little bit
longer after Jason Spezza, Brian Elliott and the Ottawa Senators
all extended their streaks for the second time in two nights.
Spezza scored his ninth goal in his last eight games and Ottawa
extended its team-record winning streak to 11 with a 3-1 victory
over the Vancouver Canucks on Thursday night.
Elliott made 29 saves to break his own team record with his
ninth straight win. He lost a shutout bid when Kyle Wellwood scored
a power-play goal with 1:39 left.
“Ells has been phenomenal,” said Spezza, who extended his
goals streak to six games, tying Dany Heatley’s team record.
“There’s not enough we can say about how well he’s played. He just
keeps it going and it seems like every night he seems better and
better, so it’s going well for us.”
Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist, and Ottawa captain
Daniel Alfredsson had three assists a night after scoring twice in
the final minute to lead the Senators to a 4-2 victory in
Spezza, who scored twice against the Sabres, has scored in every
game since he returned from a knee injury. He also scored in each
of his two games prior to his injury, though that is not considered
part of his streak.
“I’m not too worried. I’m just trying to keep scoring,” Spezza
said. “I’m feeling good about my game right now and just trying to
get pucks on net. I can’t really worry about what they consider a
streak and what they don’t – I consider it a streak, in my
Chris Kelly scored into an empty net with 40.5 seconds
Vancouver, playing the third game of its 14-game trip, lost its
second in a row following a seven-game winning streak.
Andrew Raycroft, who recorded his 100th career loss, made 18
saves in his first start in two months. Raycroft had made two
relief appearances – including his 99th career win in the Canucks’
5-3 come-from-behind win in Toronto on Saturday night – since
allowing four goals in a 5-3 loss at Carolina on Dec. 5.
The Canucks fell to 1-2 on the eight-game first leg of their
record road trip while GM Place is being prepared for the Winter
Olympics. Vancouver, which plays six straight on the road following
the games, does not play at home again until they host the Senators
on Mar. 13.
“We had been good on the road prior to these last two games and
our game in Montreal, but that being said, we’ve got a lot of guys
whose personal stats on the road are definitely as good as they are
at home,” Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.
Michalek opened the scoring with a power-play goal 1:34 in.
Alfredsson faked a shot before dishing off to Alex Kovalev, who
held the puck before feeding a pass to the slot which Michalek
redirected past Raycroft for his 19th of the season.
Ottawa had several more scoring chances throughout the first
before Spezza made it a two-goal lead late in the opening
Linemates Alfredsson and Michalek drew assists as Spezza drove
to the net and slid a shot past Raycroft for his 12th goal.
“We missed two open nets off rebounds,” Alfredsson said. “You
can’t worry about it but sometimes it does come back and haunt you
later in games but Spezza’s goal was really big to give us that
two-goal cushion and it allowed us to play a little bit more – I
won’t say defensive, but smarter. We didn’t have to force as much
or take charge. We let them come and created our chances from
Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson left the game late in the
second period. He suffered an upper-body injury and did not
NOTES: Raycroft, who won the Calder Trophy with Boston in
2003-04, is 99-100-26 overall with the Bruins, Toronto, Colorado
and Vancouver. … Luongo had made 26 straight starts. He went
17-6-2 over that span. … Elliott won eight in a row last season.
… Heatley had three six-game goal streaks with Ottawa.