UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP) — The Ottawa Senators broke out of their slump in a big way.
Robin Lehner made 20 saves in his first NHL start and Ottawa snapped a six-game winless streak with a 6-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Thursday night.
Lehner was called up for the third time this season, and appeared twice earlier, both in relief roles.
Daniel Alfredsson, Jesse Winchester, Milan Michalek, Chris Kelly, Nick Foligno and Zack Smith scored for Ottawa. The Senators were 0-4-2 before the victory. Trevor Gillies scored his first NHL goal, and Blake Comeau, P.A. Parenteau and Milan Jurcina added goals for New York, 0-2-1 in its last three games.
Kevin Poulin started in goal for New York and allowed two goals on eight shots. He was relieved by Nathan Lawson, who stopped 15 of 19 shots. Poulin was reinserted in the third period and stopped 11 more shots.
“Pulling Poulin was a gut feeling,” Islanders coach Jack Capuano said. “Sometimes, you just have to listen to your gut.”
It took Ottawa all of 32 seconds to open the scoring. Mike Fisher passed up to Alfredsson, who came in alone on Poulin, threw a deke, and buried the puck.
“We started off so quickly and never looked back,” Alfredsson said. “It’s nice to be in a winning locker room.”
Gillies tied it at 7:23, when a centering pass from Zenon Konopka deflected in off his skate, with a video review confirmation.
“It felt great,” Gillies said about his first NHL goal. “But we have to go 100 percent every shift.”
Ottawa went back in front at 9:50 when Winchester beat Poulin cleanly from the left circle.
“It’s a part of hockey,” Poulin said about being pulled. “I was mad at myself for letting a quick goal in.”
The Islanders got a power play in the second period, yet it was the Senators who scored to make it 3-1.
Michalek finished a short-handed 2-on-1 by putting a one-timer between Lawson’s legs at 7:13.
Comeau answered back at 10:31 while both teams were skating four aside.
“It seems like a trend for us in the first period,” Comeau said. “The guys were embarrassed, basically.”
Twenty seconds later, Kelly shot one past Lawson, and Ottawa was back ahead by two.
Foligno moved it up to 5-2 when he buried his own rebound at 13:01, and then Smith nailed one at 14:37.
Parenteau got his 10th for the Islanders 1:49 into the final period.
Jurcina blasted a point shot past Lehner at 10:50.
“We have to be ready to play,” Jurcina said. “We need to have better starts.”
NOTES: The Senators are the only team in the NHL that hasn’t won a single game that has gone past regulation. … Ottawa also recalled C Corey Locke from Binghamton.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)