Emery stopped all 27 shots sent his way Wednesday and Jason Spezza had a goal and an assist to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 2-0 victory over the Hurricanes in the second game of a home-and-home series. Emery served as Martin Gerber's backup Tuesday when the Senators beat Carolina 4-2 and hadn't seen action since playing a prominent role in last week's fight-filled series with the Buffalo Sabres.
On Wednesday, he didn't face much action until the third period, where he needed to make 14 stops en route to his fifth shutout of the season and eighth of his career.
"That was a confidence booster for myself. I felt good," said Emery, who gave up five goals to Sabres on Saturday but still managed to pick up a victory. "It was the type of game that I think I needed.
"We did a good job to cut down those goals against after those games against Buffalo. It's great when the guys can put that kind of defensive effort in."
Senators coach Bryan Murray reunited his big line of Spezza between Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson, and it paid off.
Spezza helped set up Dany Heatley in the first period, then added a third-period insurance goal as the Senators (38-22-4) won their third straight game and eighth in their past nine contests before a crowd of 19,261 at sold-out Scotiabank Place.
"I thought we had good puck possession and played a lot in their end tonight," Spezza said.
Heatley's goal was his 38th of the season, moving him into a tie with Teemu Selanne and Martin St. Louis for second in NHL goal scoring, three behind Vincent Lecavalier.
Both Heatley (seven goals, eight assists) and Spezza (seven goals, 10 assists) are on nine-game point streaks, although Alfredsson had his own eight-game streak stopped.
The win left the Senators five points ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins for fourth place in the Eastern Conference standings, although Ottawa has played two more games.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, missed out on the opportunity to leapfrog both the idle New York Islanders and Montreal Canadiens for seventh and eighth place, respectively, in the Eastern Conference.
Carolina has 71 points while both the Islanders and Canadiens have 72, plus the Islanders haveplayed three fewer games.
"It was a big game," Emery said. "Back-to-back games are tough, especially when the other team is in a tough spot, fighting for their playoff lives."
Cam Ward finished with 24 saves for the Hurricanes (32-27-7), who have lost two straight and three of their past five.
Carolina went 0-for-8 on the power play; Ottawa was 0-for-5.
"We didn't have much sustained pressure," said Hurricanes right-winger Justin Williams, who was robbed by a diving glove save from Emery during a third-period power play. "They were jumping on us on the power play and jumping on us five-on-five.
"They totally shut us down tonight."
Left-winger Oleg Saprykin, acquired by Ottawa from Phoenix before Tuesday's trade deadline, made his debut in a Senators' uniform. The Russian skated on a line with Dean McAmmond and Christoph Schubert.
The Senators are 13-3-3-1 in the last 20 meetings with Carolina, although their three regulation losses had all come at Scotiabank Place.
Ottawa had rallied from a 2-1 third-period deficit to win Tuesday night, but it wouldn't need a comeback this time.
Heatley opened the scoring less than four minutes into the game on a rebound.
It stayed that way until early in the third period when Spezza, having served a hooking penalty with the Hurricanes enjoying a four-on-three power play, stepped out of the penalty box and took a lead pass from Wade Redden before beating Ward with a high shot.
"It's a nice feeling when you come out of the box and get a clear-cut breakaway," Spezza said. "I had a lot of time to think about what I was going to do."
Notes: Senators defenceman Chris Phillips appeared in his 600th career game. ... Newly acquired defenceman Lawrence Nycholat was a healthy scratch for the second straight game and Brian McGrattan and Patrick Eaves also sat out for Ottawa. ... The Senators play at Atlanta on Friday. ... Dennis Seidenberg, Trevor Letkowski and Andrew Hutchinson didn't dress for the Hurricanes. ... Carolina returns home to face Pittsburgh, also on Friday.