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(Thursday, October 17th)
Final Score: Ottawa 5, New Jersey 2
Ottawa, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza each notched a goal and two assists, as the Ottawa Senators opened their home slate with a 5-2 win over the struggling New Jersey Devils at Canadian Tire Centre.
Bobby Ryan added a goal and an assist, while Milan Michalek and Zack Smith each scored once for the Senators, who went 2-2-2 on a season-opening six-game road trip.
Craig Anderson backstopped the Sens' second straight victory with 40 saves.
"He's a great goalie and he comes up big for us when we need him," Karlsson said of Anderson. "Obviously today he might have saved the game for us."
Steve Bernier and Travis Zajac each lit the lamp once for the Devils, who saw goaltender Martin Brodeur give up four goals on 22 shots.
The loss extended New Jersey's season-opening winless stretch to a team record seven games (0-4-3).
"We're seven games in, we haven't found a way to get a win yet," New Jersey center Ryan Carter said. "You can't look for excuses."
Karlsson opened the scoring just 4:32 into the game when he rifled a slapper from the top of the right circle that snuck through the five-hole of Brodeur for a 1-0 lead.
Ryan followed with his fourth of the season just 2:19 later, as he stuffed in a wraparound off a quick feed from Kyle Turris to make it 2-0.
Smith extended Ottawa's lead late in the second when Karlsson charged into the slot and slid a backhand feed to the low right circle, where Smith buried a one-timer from a sharp angle to give the Senators a 3-0 cushion.
New Jersey cut into the deficit less than a minute into the third thanks to a high-sticking minor against Ottawa's Eric Gryba with 42 seconds left in the second.
Skating on the man-advantage to start the third, Marek Zidlicky received the disc near the left faceoff dot and feathered a pass through the slot to Zajac, who controlled the puck before flipping a shot that snuck through the legs of Anderson to bring the visitors within 3-1 just 54 seconds into the stanza.
Bernier trimmed the margin to one when he beat Anderson high to the glove side at the 10:59 mark, but Michalek answered under five minutes later, with his heavy slapper from the top of the left circle sailing high over Brodeur to make it 4-2 with 4:48 left in the contest.
Brodeur left the New Jersey net with nearly 2 1/2 minutes left to give the Devils a 6-on-5 advantage, but Spezza all but ended New Jersey's comeback bid with an empty-netter at the 18:14 mark to account for the final margin.
The Devils have tallied just 13 goals in seven games this season ... New Jersey went 1-for-7 on the power play and is 2-for-22 in such situations this season ... Ottawa finished 0-for-4 on the man advantage ... Spezza scored his fifth goal of the season.
10/18 00:53:15 ET
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