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Senators cruise past Hurricanes 5-1 for first victory in 2009

OTTAWA - Dany Heatley and Antoine Vermette each had a goal and an assist and Brian Elliot made 23 saves as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 5-1 on Tuesday night.

Dean McAmmond, Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher also scored for the Senators (14-21-6), who ended a five-game losing streak with their first victory of 2009.

Elliott earned his second career NHL win - and first this season - after being called up from Binghamton of the American Hockey League last week. He allowed just two goals in a loss to the New York Rangers last Saturday, and former Senator Joe Corvo was the only Hurricane to beat him Tuesday.

The Hurricanes (21-18-5) have now lost three straight after winning their previous four games.

Cam Ward made 35 saves in his ninth consecutive start for Carolina.

Heatley opened the scoring at 3:45 of the first period with his first goal in nine games, but it was the pass from Jason Spezza that had the crowd buzzing.

As he broke down the right side, Spezza stopped, turned and feathered a backhand pass to Heatley, who had moved into the slot all alone before beating Ward with a quick shot.

McAmmond gave the Senators a 2-0 lead just past the halfway point of the period when he stripped the puck from Niclas Wallin at the Hurricanes' blue-line and beat Ward on a breakaway.

The Senators controlled the play in the second, outshooting the Hurricanes 23-8, but each team scored once in the period.

Corvo got the Hurricanes on the scoreboard as his one-timer off an Eric Staal pass found the inside of the far past and in past Elliot at 8:27 - much to the dismay of the announced crowd of 18,512 at Scotiabank Place.

Corvo and Patrick Eaves were traded to the Hurricanes from the Senators last season in exchange for Mike Commodore and Cory Stillman, both of whom left in the off season. Corvo was booed every time he touched the puck.

The Senators responded with just 26 seconds left in the period as Vermette took Chris Neil's pass from behind the net and quickly deposited the puck behind Ward.

The Senators extended the lead at 8:29 of the third after Ward made the original save off Daniel Alfredsson but wasn't able to stop Fisher's rebound shot.

Vermette added a goal for good measure with less than five minutes to play.

Notes - Fisher appeared in his 500th NHL game Tuesday, all with the Senators. ... Jarkko Ruutu returned Tuesday from a two-game suspension for biting the thumb of Andrew Peters of the Buffalo Sabres. ... The Hurricanes lead the all-time series with the Senators 27-31-8-4. ... Eric Staal has played in 298 games for the Hurricanes - the longest current streak on the team, and second all-time to the 419 games played by Dave Tippett in the 1980s.



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