Meyer leads Islanders past Senators

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By Doug Mittler

PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

UNIONDALE, New York (Ticker) -- A rare scoring outburst from

defenseman Freddy Meyer helped the New York Islanders continue

their unexpected string of success against the Ottawa Senators.

Meyer notched his first career two-goal game and had an assist

as the Islanders skated to a 4-2 victory over the Senators on

Saturday.

Andy Hilbert also tallied and Trent Hunter added an empty-netter

with 61 seconds left in the third period for the Islanders, who

snapped a two-game losing streak and vanquished the Senators for

the third time this season.

"I know in the minors I had two hat tricks. It was one of those

nights," Meyer said. "You need to have a team effort like that

to beat a team like Ottawa."

Joey MacDonald stopped 19 shots for the Islanders, who had

posted an 11-36-1 record with 11 ties against Ottawa before this

season. New York swept a home-and-home series from the Senators

earlier this month.

Dany Heatley and captain Daniel Alfredsson recorded a goal and

an assist apiece as Ottawa's two-game winning streak came to an

end.

"I think we showed all year that when we're not playing well,

it's us that's the problem," Heatley said. "Tonight, we got

outworked in our own end, and Alex (Auld) made some big saves to

keep us in the game. We can't let a game like tonight affect

us.''

Ottawa has lost six straight road games for the first time since

losing eight in a row during the 1995-1996 season.

Meyer entered the season with just 11 goals in 175 games, but

already has three this season. He converted a centering pass

from Jon Sim with 35 seconds left in the second period to give

New York a 2-1 lead.

"I don't think I'm going to change my game to being an offensive

guy," Meyer said. "I like to contribute whenever I can.

Tonight was one of those games where you took a few shots and

they went in."

Meyer, who also had his first three-point game, gave the

Islanders a 3-1 lead with a slap shot from inside the blue line

1:57 into the third.

"Their third goal was a huge goal for them," Ottawa coach Craig

Hartsburg said. "I don't think we played well."

The Senators cut the lead to 3-2 when Alfredsson scored off a

behind-the-net pass from Heatley at 8:04.

The Islanders have blown five third-period leads this season -

all in November - but MacDonald held on the rest of the way

before Hunter scored his empty-netter.

"We've been through it before and we played a totally different

game," MacDonald said. "Right after (the second Ottawa goal) we

battled, everybody worked. The older guys beared down."

The Islanders were playing for the third time in four days,

including a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh Wednesday and a lopsided 7-2

defeat in Boston on Friday.

"You like to feel you have to win every game, but this lessens

the bad feeling of losing to Pittsburgh and having one of our

worst games of the year against Boston," Islanders coach Scott

Gordon said.

Auld stopped 21 shots for Ottawa.

Heatley scored his team high 12th goal at 7:32 of the first to

open the scoring, taking a pass from Jason Spezza and putting a

wrist shot from the slot past MacDonald.

Spezza had hit the post with a shot in the first minute of the

game. Mike Fisher also hit the post for the Senators, about a

minute before Hilbert redirected a shot from Meyer out of

midair past Auld at 12:41 to tie it at 1-1. The goal stood up

after a replay review.

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