OTTAWA (AP)—The new guy on Ottawa’s Pizza Line is starting to deliver, too.
Bryan Smolinski joined Dany Heatley and Daniel Alfredsson in posting a goal and assist each, and Dominik Hasek made 33 saves to lead the Senators to a 6-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
Heatley and Alfredsson both scored their team-high 24th goals, and Smolinski, filling in on Ottawa’s top line for injured center Jason Spezza, got his seventh as the trio combined for six points.
“They’re the elite in this league and in the world so I’m not trying to do anything I’m not supposed to do,” Smolinski said. “You know you’ve got to step up. Jason has had a rough month here and I’m keeping it warm for him and just trying to be humble about it. I’m just happy to be getting some points.
“It’s fun playing with those guys. They’re awesome players and good guys, to boot.”
Carolina’s Erik Cole beat Hasek with 30.4 seconds left in the second period after Ottawa built a 3-0 lead.
Alfredsson scored against Gerber 10 seconds into the third to restore the Senators’ three-goal margin at 4-1. Schaefer netted Ottawa’s fifth goal just 22 seconds later to chase the Hurricanes goalie.
“When you’re down two goals, you don’t want to start a period like that,” Gerber said.
Chants of “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” were heard from the team-record crowd of 20,050 shortly after rookie Cam Ward took over for Gerber.
The Senators have a promotion that awards a free slice of pizza to every fan in attendance for a home win in which the team scores at least six goals.
Ward stopped Chris Phillips on a penalty shot at 12:46 of the third, but Vermette scored the Senators’ second short-handed goal of the game on a breakaway at 13:55.
“I think I heard a few boos after I missed because they were going to miss out on their pizza, so I was definitely happy to see us get the next one,” Phillips said.
Ottawa has triggered the pizza promotion in each of its last three home games, including a 6-2 win over the New York Rangers on Monday.
“They might be renegotiating that one at the end of the year,” Smolinski said.
Justin Williams scored on Carolina’s 10th power-play opportunity with 20.4 seconds left.
Hasek was the story early as Ottawa spent most of the first period short-handed, successfully killing six Carolina power plays.
“He gave our guys confidence and he really was probably a little intimidating to the shooters on the other team,” Senators coach Bryan Murray said. “They were trying to make the perfect play rather than just shooting the puck at the goaltender.”
Kelly was given an instigating minor, a fighting major, a misconduct and a game misconduct at 1:46. Ottawa’s hole got much deeper when Zdeno Chara was sent off for tripping at 2:03, but Hurricanes captain Rod Brind’Amour was called for interfering with Hasek at 2:56.
A total of 13 penalties and 45 minutes were called in the first, including eight infractions for 35 minutes against Ottawa.
Hasek made a huge glove save on Eric Staal’s backhand among several big stops while the Senators were short-handed in the first. Carolina enjoyed 5-on-3 advantages for a total of 2:32 in the period, yet trailed.
Heatley scored a power-play goal 18:01 in on a setup from Smolinski.
“(Hasek) was great. He held them in there,” Williams said. “We had plenty of chances to score and it didn’t go in the net. It just seems that’s the way all the time. You don’t score on your opportunities and they come back and score a power-play goal. Special teams won them the game.”
Carolina dealt Ottawa two of its first three losses this season but lost its next two games against the Senators to split the season series. … Spezza missed his fourth straight game because of a chest injury. He has 13 goals and 34 assists in 30 games. … Senators D Brian Pothier sustained a concussion in the second period and didn’t return.