Bell, potent power play help Senators upend Capitals

OTTAWA (Ticker) — The Ottawa Senators’ power play provided
quite the punch on Tuesday.

Defenseman Brendan Bell scored a power-play goal with 82 seconds
remaining in the third period and All-Star Dany Heatley added a
pair of tallies with the man advantage as the Senators recorded
a 3-2 triumph over the Washington Capitals.

Antoine Vermette notched three assists and rookie Brian Elliott
turned aside 29 shots for Ottawa, which improved to 3-0-1 in its
last four contests.

“It doesn’t really matter to any of us,” Vermette said of his
three-assist performance. “What matters is the two points.
This is what we have to continue to do if we want to be where we
want at the end of the season. Points in the standings is what
we really want.”

“We had a slow second period, but we bounced back a bit in the
third,” Elliott said. “Getting that goal from Brendan really
helps a lot going into the break. The guys have been playing
great the last five games. Whatever the spark has been, we’ll
take it. … It’s fun to be winning those games.”

Sergei Fedorov and David Steckel scored over nine minutes apart
in the second period and Jose Theodore made 31 saves for
Washington, which saw its three-game winning streak come to an

“It was stupid, it was ridiculous. We didn’t come to play in
the first and third periods,” Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau
said. “When you don’t come to play in two out of three periods,
you’re not going to win the hockey game.”

With the game tied at 2-2 late in the third, Bell unleashed a
shot from the right faceoff circle that hit the left leg of
blue-liner Karl Alzner. Bell gathered the loose puck and
immediately wristed it just inside the right goalpost for his
fourth goal of the season.

“I saw Antoine was wide open, so I passed it to him, but he put
it right back on my tape,” Bell said. “I took a shot, and then
it was a fortunate bounce to have it end right back on my

“It’s no fault of Jose,” Boudreau said. “I think he was
reacting to the first shot by following it in, but then it
deflected back to Bell, and unfortunately, it went in.”

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Heatley opened the scoring 8:11 into the first period, receiving
a pass from defenseman Filip Kuba and blasting a shot from the
right faceoff circle past Theodore.

One day prior to his 28th birthday, Heatley doubled the
advantage with 4:06 remaining in the session.

After collecting the puck in the right circle, Heatley wristed a
shot that caromed off the left skate of defenseman Jeff Schultz
and past Theodore for his team-leading 21st goal of the season.

“It’s always nice to score goals when you’re a goal-scorer,”
Heatley said. “Sometimes they go in and sometimes they don’t.
Last week, a couple have gone in.”

Ottawa finished 3-for-6 with the man advantage, much to the
chagrin of Boudreau.

“We only took (six) penalties, but let in (goals on) three of
the (six),” Boudreau said. “If we don’t get better (on the
penalty kill), we’re not going anywhere. Guys are going to
start losing their penalty ice-time if they don’t start getting
with the program.

“That’s three games in a row now we’ve had poor penalties in the
third. If we don’t do that, we probably win.”

Facing a two-goal deficit, Washington responded by outshooting
Ottawa, 19-3, in the second period.

Fedorov got the Capitals on the scoreboard just 37 seconds into
the session, when his blast from the high slot beat Elliott for
his fifth goal of the campaign and 477th career.

Washington evened the contest at 9:58. Two quick passes after
the Senators lost possession in their own zone, Steckel tapped
the puck past Elliott for his sixth tally.

“We had a good second period, but the rest of the game, we just
played defense,” reigning Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin said.
“We didn’t have as many quality shots as we wanted. (Ottawa)
played great on the power play.

“We just stopped playing in the third period. We didn’t get the
puck out of our zone and we didn’t seem to play very hard. We
just waited for something to happen instead of creating. … We
can’t play like this and expect to win.”