Senators 5, Blackhawks 2
CHICAGO (AP) _ The Ottawa Senators snapped a 14-game winless streak as both goaltender Mike Bales and coach Dave Allison recorded their first NHL victories Thursday night with a 5-2 decision over the Chicago Blackhawks.
Since Allison took over for the fired Rick Bowness on Nov. 22, Ottawa had gone 0-5-1 prior to its win Thursday night at the United Center. During their overall winless skid, the Senators were 0-13-1.
Bales had no record in two NHL appearances prior to the 1995-96 season. In seven previous games this season, the 24-year-old was 0-5-1.
The Senators’ win also was their first ever over the Blackhawks. In four prior meetings, Ottawa was 0-3-1.
Ted Drury, Daniel Alfredsson, Martin Straka, Dennis Vial and Alexandre Diagle scored for Ottawa, which jumped ahead 3-0 after the first period. Joe Murphy and Tony Amonte scored for the Blackhawks, whose six-game unbeaten streak (2-0-4) was snapped in their first home contest since Nov. 19.
The Senators capitalized on the Blackhawks’ listless first-period play to build an early lead and hold on.
Drury opened the scoring just 39 seconds into the game when he surprised Chicago goaltender Ed Belfour with an 85-foot shot, fired from the right side of the neutral zone.
Alfredsson, second among NHL rookie scorers, made it 2-0 at 11:32 when he connected from between the circles. Left unchecked, the Swedish right wing had time to take a pass that was behind him, turn and shoot the puck between Belfour’s legs.
The Blackhawks appeared to have cut the Senators’ lead to 2-1 at 13:11, but referee Mick McGeough disallowed the goal, ruling it had been directed in with a skate.
Straka made it 3-0 at 15:15. Also left unguarded in the slot, he ripped in a one-time shot of Daigle’s pass from the left-wing boards.
The Blackhawks showed flashes of life in the second period and outshot the Senators 13-2 in the second. Still, Ottawa led 4-1 after two periods. Murphy’s power-play goal from the left circle at 14:46 trimmed Ottawa’s lead to 3-1. The Senators, however, responded at 18:08 when Vial miscled in his first goal of the seson from the edge of the crease.
Daigle beat Belfour with a rising shot from the right circle at 6:23 of the third period to extend Otttawa’s advantage to 5-1. Amonte wrapped in his fourth goal of the season with 2:14 remaining to make it 5-2.