OTTAWA (AP) - Long out of serious playoff contention, the Ottawa Senators aren’t content to simply play out the season.
Chris Neil, Filip Kuba, Mike Fisher, Dany Heatley and Nick Foligno scored to help the Senators win their seventh straight home game, 5-2 over the New York Islanders on Saturday night.
“It’s nice to do it now instead of not at all, I guess,” Ottawa star Daniel Alfredsson. “We don’t always play great but we’ve been sticking out and finding a way. We’re making more of our chances.”
Brian Elliott made 20 saves, and Alfredsson and Brendan Bell had three assists each for Ottawa. The Senators improved to 31-30-10, the first time they’ve been above .500 since Nov. 6.
“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.”
Josh Bailey scored twice in the third period for New York.
“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.”
Ottawa scored four second-period goals.
Neil opened the scoring 28 seconds into the period with a shot from the slot that barely crossed the line after goalie Yann Danis got a piece of the puck.
Kuba scored his third of the season at 9:14, and Fisher and Heatley scored 37 seconds. 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.
Danis made 21 saves.
Notes:@ Islanders center Doug Weight missed his 17th straight game because off a knee injury. … The Islanders are off until Wednesday when they host Minnesota. … Ottawa’s Mike Comrie missed a chance to suit up against his former teammates, He sat out his third straight game with the flu. … Chris Neil played in his 500th NHL game Saturday, all with the Senators.
(This version CORRECTS Senators 5, Islanders 2. SUBS headline to correct to “7th”)