OTTAWA – Brian Elliott didn’t have the success he would have liked with the Ottawa Senators, but he was almost perfect against them Tuesday.
David Perron scored twice and Elliott made 28 saves in his regular-season return to Ottawa as the St. Louis Blues defeated the Senators 3-1 Tuesday night.
Elliott was traded to the Colorado Avalanche prior to last season’s trade deadline for Senators’ current No. 1 netminder Craig Anderson.
He went 2-8-1 with the Avalanche before moving on to the Blues in the off-season where he now boasts a 16-5-2 record.
“You really want to get back in that winning feeling and doing it here is obviously pretty big for me,” Elliott said.
“It’s pretty fun playing against some of your best friends over there. They’re having a great year and we just wanted to come here and get a road win. We haven’t been as good on the road, so coming in here for kind of a homecoming meant a lot to me and the guys played hard for me.”
Anderson, meanwhile, was making his 18th straight start but didn’t last four minutes as he and the Senators lost their seventh straight game.
Chris Porter also scored for the Blues (31-14-7), who won for just the second time in their past five games.
Alfredsson had the only goal for Ottawa (27-22-7) and Anderson was replace by Alex Auld after allowing two goals on just four shots. Auld turned aside 13-of-14 shots.
“The biggest thing is to make sure we’re sticking together,” said Auld. “That’s what has gotten us through some tough times this year is the fact that we are a close group and we have to make sure that we are holding each other accountable and still having a lot of fun in practice and I believe we’re going to get out of this.”
The Blues entered the third period with a 3-1 lead after Perron scored his second of the game at 6:35 of the second when he chopped a backhand over the shoulder of Auld.
The goal restored a two-goal lead for the Blues after Alfredsson scored on the power play just 56 seconds into the period. Sergei Gonchar fired a shot that hit Alfredsson’s skate at the side of the St. Louis goal, bounced off Elliott and went in.
The first period was much like the second as the Senators failed to gain any big rewards for their efforts.
Despite outshooting and outchancing the Blues in the opening period, Ottawa trailed 2-0 heading into the first break.
Porter opened the scoring with a redirect just 1:37 into the game.
Perron scored his first at 3:49 after picking up a rebound that Anderson couldn’t control and scoring before the Senators’ netminder could get back into position.
“I don’t think we were ready to play the game. You have to be ready to start the game,” Ottawa head coach Paul MacLean said.
“We made one execution error on the first goal obviously, and on the second goal they just skated right through us so obviously we weren’t prepared to play the game.”
Elliott kept Ottawa off the board with nine saves in the period, including one off Colin Greening who took a pass in tight from Jason Spezza on a two-on-none break.
“I think our team has come out of the break and stayed the same while the league has gone to another level,” Maclean said.
“We may even have gone backwards, but we certainly haven’t gone to the same level as the rest of the league.”
The Senators won’t get much relief during their current slide as they host the red-hot Nashville Predators on Thursday. The Predators had won eight of their past 10 heading into Tuesday. It will also mark the return of Mike Fisher to Ottawa for the first time since he was traded to Nashville last season.
Notes: Senators’ defenceman Chris Phillips played his 999th career game Tuesday, all with Ottawa.…Milan Michalek is halfway there as he played his 500th NHL game Tuesday, and 183rd with Ottawa.…The Blues are now 10-0-2 against the Eastern Conference this season.…The win was the first for St. Louis in Ottawa since Jan. 26, 2000. They had gone 0-5 in that time.