Senators sink Islanders in OT
Mike Fisher scored 32 seconds into overtime as the Ottawa Senators edged the New York Islanders 3-2 in the home opener at Scotiabank Place on Thursday night.
Fisher scooped up the puck off the side boards, sped up ice and ripped a wrist shot past Islanders netminder Martin Biron for the winning tally, his first of the season.
"I found a hole just under his arm," Fisher said. "I didn't think I played well and it was good to get one like that and redeem myself a little bit."
Biron and fellow veteran Dwayne Roloson, who faced 43 shots in New York's overtime loss to the Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins in the season opener, were brought in because Rick DiPietro is still recovering from knee surgery.
DiPietro, signed to a 15-year, $67.5-million US contract on Sept. 13, 2006, missed 77 games with injuries last season.
"We got two points out of two [overtime] games," Biron said. "But the other teams got four.
"We fought hard to get back in the game tonight. But we're not satisfied with that."
Peter Regin opened the scoring for the Senators (2-1-0) and fellow rookie Matt Carkner, from nearby Winchester, Ont., had one goal and one assist.
It marked the first goal in five NHL games for Carkner, a 28-year-old rookie rearguard drafted a decade ago.
"I just wanted to play solid and sometimes good things happen — bounces and that kind of thing — so I'm glad I got the bounces and I'm just enjoying it," he said. "I thank Fishy at the end there for winning the game.
"If we didn't win, it wouldn't have felt half as good. It was awesome to get the win and the points."
Carkner rumbled up ice on a rare solo rush and scored on a sharp-angled wrist shot that Biron misplayed with his stick and knocked over the goal-line to give the Senators the lead 13:12 into the second period.
"It was just one of those plays were I was just trying to enter the zone and maybe get a shot with a rebound and I kept waiting and waiting for an opening to shoot and it came," he said. "It was a bad-angle shot and it kind of got in between the paddle and his pads and I was fortunate enough for it to go in.
"Not something that I planned. But it was a definite bonus for me."
'It was a good experience'
Matt Moulson led the Islanders (0-0-2) with a goal and an assist.
Kyle Okposo tallied New York's other goal and teenage sensation John Tavares, drafted No. 1 overall on June 26, assisted on Moulson's tying goal with the man advantage 5:29 into the third period.
"It was a good experience — my first game on the road," Tavares said. "Playing against their top defensive pairing and the [Jason] Spezza line was definitely a great challenge for me and was a great way to get some experience.
"I thought I did well. I'm hoping to do better next time and keep improving from there."
'We battled back real well'
Ottawa tried to strike early in the contest as Milan Michalek flicked the puck up ice to spring Spezza on a breakaway, but Biron made a lunging pokecheck and the puck slid wide of the right post.
The Senators caught a break in the eighth minute when the on-ice officials failed to notice the puck roll along the protective mesh behind the Islanders net.
Play continued and Chris Neil corralled the bouncing puck between a trio of confused Islanders and fired it toward the net, where Regin redirected it for his second goal in as many games.
Carkner made it 2-0 and Pascal Leclaire made a spectacular pad save on Tavares at the left post, but he couldn't prevent Okposo from turning defenceman Anton Volchenkov inside-out and tucking the puck in the open side with 2:04 left in the period.
"It was a tough one for us," Tavares said. "We battled back real well.
"We played a hard game and we got a point. But we're not satisfied with that."
Leclaire finished with 23 saves for Ottawa.
With files from The Canadian Press