OTTAWA – Mike Fisher broke out of his frustrating offensive slump in a big way.
After being held off the scoresheet in his first nine games this season, Fisher scored the game-winning goal and added an assist Tuesday as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1 in overtime.
Fisher scored four minutes 20 seconds into overtime after setting up Dany Heatley’s goal in the second period to collect his first point of the season.
“The guys on the bench were bugging me asking me if I got the puck,” Fisher said. “Same thing in overtime. You can laugh about it, but it was just one of those things and it was a matter of time.”
Daniel Alfredsson had two assists for the Senators (5-5-2) while Alex Auld made 26 saves for the win.
Alfredsson took a pass from defenceman Filip Kuba then fed a cross-crease pass to Fisher, who buried a one-timer.
“It’s obviously been a struggle for me early on offensively and to get one in overtime feels good, no question, and I’ve just got to keep rolling and build on that game. It feels good to win a game like that coming home from a road trip,” Fisher said.
Tomas Fleischmann scored the lone goal for the Capitals (5-5-1) who got a 42-save performance from Brent Johnson.
Superstar Alex Ovechkin was held off the scoresheet in his return to the Capitals’ lineup. Ovechkin missed the last two games to be with his ailing grandfather in Russia.
Johnson was the busier of the two goaltenders but it was Auld who faced the most difficult tests in the third period and two big saves in particular kept the game tied through regulation.
After a terrible giveaway by Senators forward Chris Neil, Michael Nylander got a breakaway but was unable to beat Auld. Then, with a little more than eight minutes to play in the third, Auld made a save and then stoned Alexander Semin with a great stop on the rebound.
“We’ve got to focus on first and last minutes giving up goals,” Johnson said, who was upset with himself on the winning goal.
“It was a rather easy play to defend and they end up putting it in our net. I was pretty upset because I knew exactly what they were going to do. I had to respect Afredsson with the puck as much as I could and he made a nice pass, but I could see the play happening even before Alfredsson got the pass.”
After a scoreless first period, the teams traded second period goals with Heatley scoring at 1:13 and Fleischmann responding at 3:26.
Heatley stepped out of the penalty box and took a pass from Fisher and on the ensuing breakaway beat Johnson with a couple of moves before crashing into the crossbar.
“Heater made a nice play on the breakaway and Alfie made a great play on the (winning goal) but as a team, everyone from Alex in net, our defence corps and the offence, played a pretty good game,” Fisher said.
A little more than two minutes after Heatley opened the scoring Fleischmann took a pass from Semin at the side of the Senators goal, cut in front of Auld and then put a backhander past the fallen netminder.
“We found a way win, I liked the way we played and it was a fun game,” Alfredsson said.
Notes: Alex Ovechkin has played in 254 of 257 games in his career and the Capitals are 1-2 in the three games he has missedThe Capitals have played just once before on the same day as a U.S. Presidential election. On Nov. 3 1992 the Capitals beat the Chicago Black Hawks 4-1 in a neutral site game in Indianapolis. Bill Clinton defeated George H. W. Bush that night as wellThe Capitals were 4-0-0 against the Senators last season.