Fisher sparks Senators' victory over Thrashers

BY foxsports • October 11, 2009

Mike Fisher felt positively rejuvenated by the ancient Ottawa Senators flanking him.

Fisher assisted on Alex Kovalev's first-period goal and added a power-play goal in the second, leading Ottawa to a 4-2 victory over the Atlanta Thrashers on Saturday night.

Fisher, who scored 32 seconds into overtime Thursday night a 3-2 win over the New York Islanders, restored the Senators' lead 3:44 into the second when he put a backhander past Ondrej Pavelec.

"I'm feeling young," said the 29-year-old Fisher, who was teamed with 36-year-old linemates Kovalev and Daniel Alfredsson. "They create so much space, they both make great plays and they're strong on the puck. They made some great plays tonight - we could have had a few more."

Kovalev scored his first Senators goal 43 seconds in, and Jarkko Ruutu added Ottawa's second goal 1:42 later to open up a 2-0 lead 2:25 into the game.

Chris Neil also scored, and Brian Elliott made 27 saves in his first start of the season for Ottawa (3-1).

"It feels great to get my first goal but to get the win, that's the most important thing," said Kovalev, who has 395 career goals, including over 100 each with the New York Rangers, Pittsburgh and Montreal. "When you score goals and don't get the win, that's frustrating."

Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk scored his fifth goal in three games midway through the first. Ron Hainsey scored late in the period to draw the Thrashers even at 2.

"I don't think we showed up for this game," Kovalchuk said. "I don't know whether we were ready at the start and then they capitalized on us and scored a couple of quick goals. We came back and in the second period we had a couple of chances to take the lead, but their goalie played well. That goal on the power play made the game."

Pavelec made his third straight start and stopped 30 shots.

Vyacheslav Kozlov appeared to have drawn Atlanta (2-1-0) within one midway through the third, but the goal was immediately waved off. A video review supported the referee's ruling that Kozlov had deflected the puck with a high stick.

"We just tried to beat everybody by ourselves, but we just need to play like a unit, like we did the first two games," Kovalchuk said.

Zach Bogosian recovered from a solid bodycheck by Senators defenseman Anton Volchenkov in the second period to level Alfredsson immediately afterward with an open-ice hit of his own.

Chris Phillips drew a roughing minor at 13:27 as a number of Senators came to Alfredsson's defense after Bogosian knocked the Ottawa captain to the ice in the neutral zone.

Kovalev, who left the Canadiens to sign a two-year, $10 million deal with Ottawa, got his first goal in four games with a shot into a gaping net 43 seconds in.

Ruutu got his first of the season at 2:25 to make it 2-0.


Kovalchuk has 12 goals and six assists overall in 14 games at Scotiabank Place. ... Senators C Peter Regin left the game midway through the third with an upper body injury. He did not return.