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Senators' Anderson makes 40 saves to down Devils

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- As the last line of defense for a team that is allowing the second-most shots on goal this season, Craig Anderson would be fine with an easy workload for a change.

He would be content with sitting in his locker room stall when the three stars come out for a bow at the end of game his squad wins.

"I'd really like to see 15 shots all night, from the perimeter," the Ottawa Senators goalie said Thursday. "That would be ideal.

"But obviously that's not the case in this game. There's mistakes made, and you've got to be there to save the day for your team. The more rubber you face, the more chances you get for the fans to get behind you and chant your name."

The opening-night crowd at the Canadian Tire Centre had plenty of cause to holler for him during the Senators' 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Anderson stopped 40 shots, while Ottawa managed just 23 shots.

The win, in front of 18,867 fans, was the second in a row for the Senators (3-2-2). The Devils (0-4-3) ran their winless streak to seven games.

"We had plenty of chances to score. ... I don't know what else we could have done to give us a chance," Devils winger Patrik Elias said. "They scored those goals when they had to, and we didn't."

Ottawa held a 3-0 lead after two periods despite being outshot 23-11.

The Devils pulled within 3-2 in the third, but Anderson was there to keep them at arm's length. His biggest save was off Jaromir Jagr, who took a rebound from the end boards and directed a shot at the open net, only to see a sprawling Anderson drop his stick in front of it.

"You just battle and you just never know," Anderson said of the stop. "You never give up on a play. You just make it hard on them."

Anderson also made at least one save with his back to the play off a scramble in the second.

"He was battling out there," said Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, who made 18 saves. "It was not really pretty to watch, but he got it done. It's exciting goaltending, there's no doubt about that. I think he's the reason why they got two points tonight.

Also making large contributions to the victory were Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza, who had a goal and two assists each. Bobby Ryan, Zack Smith and Milan Michalek had the other Ottawa goals.

Travis Zajac and Steve Bernier scored for New Jersey.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer thought his team should have had five or six goals.

"That's an easy out, to look at the shots and the goals and blame it on the goaltender," he said in defense of Brodeur. "I don't think that's the story of the game."

Karlsson and Ryan scored on Ottawa's first two shots of the game. Brodeur said he didn't see the puck on either goal.

"It was a new scenario for this year," Karlsson said of playing with a lead. "It's a good thing. I think we were ready to play. We came out prepared."

And the Devils left still searching for answers.

"I thought we played well," Brodeur said. "We had plenty of chances. It's kind of a tough one to digest, when you get so many quality chances and so many unlucky bounces right in the crease."

NOTES: No goalie has beaten the Senators more than Brodeur, who holds a 36-24-7 record against Ottawa. ... The Senators put C Stephane Da Costa on waivers at noon Thursday. The 24-year-old has no points in four games this season. ... Da Costa and veteran D Joe Corvo were healthy scratches for the Senators, who went with the same lineup that was successful Tuesday night in a 4-3 overtime win over the Phoenix Coyotes ... The Devils' season-opening winless streak is the worst in franchise history. "It's not fun," RW Dainius Zubrus said. ... The Devils placed LW Ryane Clowe on injured reserve, retroactive to Oct. 13. Signed in the offseason as a free agent, Clowe has one assist, five penalty minutes and a minus-5 rating in six games for New Jersey.
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