Senators 3, Flames 1
Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson had been beaten by Bobby Butler enough times in practice to know it was only a matter of time before the Senators sophomore broke out with a big night.
Anderson made 38 saves, and Butler scored his first two goals of the season to lead the Senators to a 3-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Tuesday night.
''It's one of those things where statistically, you knew he was going to have a breakout game where he was going to score a couple,'' Anderson said. ''He's been really good in practice lately, ripping a few pucks past me, so it was nice to see him do it to someone else.''
Butler made a nice toe-drag move against defenseman Mark Giordano, then snapped a shot over the glove of goalie Miikka Kiprusoff to break a 1-1 tie at 9:50 of the third period.
''It had been a little while, so it definitely felt good to get the first one of the season,'' said Butler, who had 10 goals in 36 games during his rookie season.
But the 24 year old Butler was shut out in his first nine games this season.
''It was a highlight-reel goal for your first goal of the year and for Bobby, he could have kicked it in and he would have taken it,'' Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said.
MacLean rewarded Butler with extra ice time in the third period and he eventually added his second goal with 3:48 left to make it 3-1. He burst down the right wing and fired a wrist shot inside the far post.
''After he scored the first goal, he was right back on the ice again. When good things happen in the game, you reward the players that are playing well,'' MacLean said.
Anderson was impressive for the second straight outing. He got shelled for four goals on six shots before being pulled against Buffalo on Friday.
''When you have a bad game, you want to get right back in there and prove to everybody that you can do a good job,'' said Anderson, who stopped 31 of 33 shots Saturday against Toronto. ''The guys have been playing really well the last couple games, allowing me to make the saves from the outside, control the rebounds, and the defense has done a great job of cleaning up in front.''
Daniel Alfredsson also scored for Ottawa (9-9-1).
On the heels of a five-game losing streak, the Senators have won two straight. They are halfway through a six-game trip that continues Thursday against Edmonton.
''Overall, we've been playing pretty good hockey lately,'' Anderson said. ''Even when we were losing, we were right there, a shootout loss, we lost by a goal here and there. A bounce here or a bounce there, one less mistake, and those games are wins or points for us.''
Tom Kostopoulos scored the lone goal for the Flames (7-9-1), who had won eight of nine against Ottawa, dating to 2004. Kiprusoff had 29 saves.
''It's a tough league to score goals, a tough league to win in. You've got to be able to win the tight games 2-1, 1-0,'' Flames forward Olli Jokinen said. ''You can't get frustrated and get into your own program that, 'Oh, I've got to score three goals next game. It's not going to work that way. You have to play for the team, and goals will come.''
Calgary has won just two of its last seven at home.
Ottawa took a 1-0 lead with 1:16 left in the second period.
When Jarome Iginla couldn't get the puck past Nick Foligno along the side boards, Foligno burst back into the Flames' end on the transition and sent a pass to Alfredsson driving to the slot. With Flames defenseman Chris Butler providing a screen, the Senators captain snapped a shot into the top corner for his fifth goal.
Calgary tied it before the second period ended.
Anderson went behind the net to play the puck, but his pass was intercepted by Matt Stajan, who fired the puck into the slot where it was deflected in by Kostopoulos.
Calgary went 0 for 6 with the man advantage to fall to an NHL worst 2 for 40 on home ice. During a 64 second, two-man advantage, the Flames failed to record a shot. Ottawa was 0 for 4 on the power play.
NOTES: Calgary LW David Moss (lower body) didn't play, opening up a lineup spot for Stajan, who was a healthy scratch the past two games. ... Iginla, Rene Bourque, and Curtis Glencross share the team lead with five goals. Last place Columbus is the only other NHL team without a player with more than five. ... The last time Ottawa scored more than three goals against the Flames was in a 4-4 tie on Nov. 22, 2001. That was also the last time Alfredsson had scored against Calgary. He was blanked in 10 games since, his second-longest drought against any NHL opponent. Alfredsson hasn't scored in his last 12 games against New Jersey.