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
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
"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
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
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.