UNIONDALE, N.Y. (AP)—Dany Heatley’s season is going so well, he even knows when bad bounces are coming his way.
Heatley waited for a hopping puck to get through a defenseman and onto his stick Friday and then smacked it into the net, starting the Ottawa Senators on the way to a 6-2 victory over the New York Islanders.
The first-period goal stretched Heatley’s point streak to 20 games. He has 16 goals to go with 18 assists and is the only NHL player to register a point in every one of his team’s games this season.
This one couldn’t have been easier for Heatley, who extended the club-record streak he shattered seven games earlier. Camped near the right post during a power play, Heatley waited as a pass from Jason Spezza got past defenseman Janne Niinimaa, who whiffed on a clearing attempt.
“I was kind of waiting in the weeds there,” Heatley said. “I had a hunch. It was bouncing pretty funny. I thought one more bounce over his stick and it would be there.”
As if the Senators needed any more breaks. Ottawa leads the NHL with 96 goals and has given up a league-low 43. Having Dominik Hasek backing you up helps, too. The 40-year-old goalie made 31 saves.
“They sprung a couple of guys once in a while, but we know Dom is there and he’s going to make some great saves,” captain Daniel Alfredsson said. “Our defense has been overshadowed because we have such a great offense.”
On Friday it came from some unlikely sources, too.
The Senators were without defenseman Wade Redden and forwards Martin Havlat and Chris Neil. In their places, Vaclav Varada more than doubled his season point total with his first goal and two assists, Patrick Eaves netted his second goal, and Denis Hamel scored his first for the Northeast Division leaders.
“Our players took it as an opportunity to play a solid two-way game,” coach Bryan Murray said. “That was as solid as we’ve played as a group all season.”
Varada, known more for penalties than points, came in with just two assists but he restored Ottawa’s lead with a second-period goal that made it 2-1. He then helped set up Peter Schaefer with 1:49 left in the frame.
Spezza had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who scored three power-play goals for the fourth time this season. Ottawa is 24-3-8 against New York in the last 35 meetings.
“They outskated and outworked us,” Islanders forward Mark Parrish said. “We didn’t win the one-on-one battles in front of our net or in front of their net.”
Rick DiPietro made 40 saves for the Islanders in his 100th NHL game.
The Senators came in with the NHL’s fifth-worst road power play, having connected just six times in 51 chances. But they were clicking from the start against the Islanders, whom they defeated 6-0 at home on Nov. 5. Ottawa (17-3) scored three times in 10 chances in that one and went 3-for-6 in the rematch.
“The power play was probably the best we’ve had it all year,” Alfredsson said.
Alexei Yashin, second on the Senators’ career list in goals, assists and points, got New York even at 1 with his 11th. Alexei Zhitnik also scored for the Islanders, who heard boos at home in a second straight loss at Nassau Coliseum following a 3-1 road trip.
“After these last two games, we have to regroup quickly,” Yashin said.
Yashin tied it when he took a perfect pass from Radek Martinek in front and steered it past Hasek with 5:40 remaining in the first.
Varada, who had no goals and 31 penalty minutes in 20 games against the Islanders, scored his first since Dec. 8, 2003, to make it 2-1 just 4:59 into the second period. His pass in front hit the skate of the defenseman Zhitnik and slipped past DiPietro.
Eaves scored his second at 8:15 before Zhitnik got the Islanders back within a goal at 14:02.
Schaefer sent a changeup shot from the slot off DiPietro’s glove and in to make it 4-2, and Spezza and Hamel added third-period goals.
“The turning point was the second period with all the penalties,” Islanders coach Steve Stirling said. “We took some silly, needless penalties there.”
Redden, a 1995 first-round pick of the Islanders, missed the game due to a bruised knee. He is expected to be out at least a week. Havlat, who hurt his left hamstring Tuesday in the first period at Carolina, is day to day. … Islanders RW Eric Godard fought Senators RW Brian McGrattan just 2:57 in. The two enforcers, who have combined to score one NHL goal in 87 games, also squared off earlier this season.