DENVER (AP)—Ottawa struggled on the power play early and was without its leading scorer.
All that hardly mattered.
The Senators have so much depth, they can overcome just about anything.
“We have a lot of confidence on this team,” said goalie Dominik Hasek, who stopped 22 shots. “We know we have skill players who can score the goals.”
Ottawa had trouble setting up its power play before Heatley’s goal and has scored twice in its last 25 chances with a man advantage. The Senators also had to play without Jason Spezza, third in the NHL with 43 points, due to a hip injury.
Ottawa made up for it with a typically steady night from Hasek and another big third period.
Then they poured it on.
Heatley started it off nearly six minutes in with his 20th goal, tipping a shot by Daniel Alfredsson, who had three assists. Patrick Eaves made it 4-2 with 6 1/2 minutes left with his third goal, then Bryan Smolinski, back on the ice after being hit in the head with a puck, scored his fifth 88 seconds after that.
Brandon Bochenski capped the flurry another 42 seconds later with his sixth goal, giving Ottawa 49 goals in third period this season, best in the NHL.
“We knew that if we hung around until the third period, that once we got a break we would open it up,” Smolinski said. “They could have done the same thing to us.”
Not the way the Avalanche were playing.
Sure, rookie Marek Svatos scored his 15th goal and Patrice Brisebois ended a 21-game goal drought, but Colorado gave up too many good scoring chances in losing for the fourth time in six games. Rookie goalie Vitaly Kolesnik got the worst of it, allowing six goals on 31 shots. He lost his second straight game after opening his career with two wins.
“I don’t think we can expect to win if we give up six, but when it was 2-2 in the third in our building, those are the types of games that we have to figure out a way to win,” Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said.
Hasek made it difficult.
He’s been Colorado’s nemesis since his days in Detroit and looked just like he did back then, contorting his body into unimaginable positions to keep the Senators close early. Hasek had it easy in the third period, facing five shots, and has allowed 19 goals during a 9-0-1 streak.
“He gives us a chance every night,” Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. “You might not be playing as well as you might be and he might get one early on him, but when the game gets on the line it is pretty difficult to score on this guy.”
The game featured the league’s top two scoring teams and up-and-down action was about what you’d expect. The hard hitting and rough play wasn’t.
Colorado defenseman John-Michael Liles hit his head on the ice after Fisher pulled him down late in the first period. Liles later returned.
Ottawa forward Peter Schaefer crumpled to the ice midway through the second when teammate Chris Neil, who took an elbow to the head from Svatos, hit him in the face with his stick. Schaefer received stitches and returned, and Svatos later got rammed into the boards from behind.
Not even the goalies were safe.
Kolesnik lay face down on the ice for about a minute after Fisher barreled over him on a semi-breakaway midway through the second period. Kolesnik climbed to his knees after being attended to by the trainer and stayed in the game.
There was more.
Smolinski had to be helped from the ice a few minutes later, blood trickling from under his helmet after he dived to block a shot by Antti Laaksonen and was hit on the side of the head with the puck.
The action with the puck picked up after that and the Senators got the better of it, ending their first losing streak at two games.
“In the third when we opened it up and we started to pinch and create chances, it took just one opportunity for them and they buried it,” Colorado defenseman Rob Blake said. “That’s the dynamic of this team.”
Colorado’s Pierre Turgeon had an assist on Svatos’ goal, giving him 799 for his career. … Ottawa D Wade Redden missed his ninth straight game with a sprained knee. … Colorado has scored in the first period in 10 straight games. … Colorado’s Joe Sakic extended his points streak to 10 games.