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Senators continue their home roll with a 5-2 victory over the Islanders

OTTAWA - Forget first impressions, the Ottawa Senators are trying to give their fans a lasting one.

After spending much of the season at the .500 mark at home, the Senators won their seventh straight home game Saturday night when they defeated the New York Islanders 5-1 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,751.

Chris Neil, Filip Kuba, Mike Fisher, Dany Heatley and Nick Foligno all scored as the Senators (31-30-10) moved above .500 for the first time since Nov. 6.

Brian Elliott made 20 saves while Daniel Alfredsson and Brendan Bell had three assists each.

Josh Bailey's third period power-play goal and even-strength goals were the only markers for the Islanders (24-40-8), who have dropped three of their past four games. Yann Danis stopped 21 of the 26 shots he faced.

"We're like a different team," Fisher said. 'We're playing with more energy and having more fun playing as a team and that's the way we should have been playing all year.

"We've been competing in all areas of the ice, been getting good goaltending and getting more goals."

Trailing 4-0, Bailey got the Islanders on the scoreboard at 3:02 of the third period, but Foligno scored a power-play goal of his own at 12:32 to give the Senators a 5-1 cushion.

Bailey scored his second of the night at 13:26.

"If you have a good night it makes it a lot sweeter if it's a W." Bailey said.

"As far as myself, it was only a good third period. My first two periods were off big time and I think that goes along with the rest of the team, too. They played well and we have to give credit where credit is deserved."

Although the outcome of the game was very much in doubt after the first period, there was no questioning who the victor would be once 40 minutes had been played.

The Senators turned a 0-0 yawner into a 4-0 blowout.

Neil opened the floodgates with his third of the season just 28 seconds into the second period when his shot from the slot just barley got across the line after Danis got a piece of the puck.

Kuba scored his third of the year to give the Senators a 2-0 lead at 9:14 when he snuck in from the point and put a pass from Alfredsson behind Danis.

Fisher and Heatley then scored 37 seconds apart to give the Senators their biggest one-period offensive explosion of the season.

Fisher used a chip shot to score at 13:06 and Heatley snapped home a shot from the top of the circle at 13:43.

Overall, it was the eighth win in the past nine games for the Senators, who now head out on a season-high six-game road trip.

"It's nice to do it now instead of not at all I guess," Alfredsson said.

"We don't always play great but we've been sticking out and finding a way. We're making more of our chances."

Notes: Centre Doug Weight missed his 17th straight game Sunday with a knee injury... Forward Blake Comeau played his 100th career game Saturday. The Islanders are off until Wednesday when they host the Minnesota Wild. Forward Mike Comrie missed a chance to suit up against his former teammates Saturday as he sat out his third straight game with the flu. Chris Neil played in his 500th NHL game Saturday, all with the Senators. It's a quick turnaround for the Senators, who travel to New York for a Sunday night meeting with the Rangers.



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