OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators and New York Rangers got some early practice for their special teams Saturday night as the clubs opened the NHL pre-season schedule with a rash of penalties.
The Senators were most affected by the penalties but they skated away with a 3-2 win in front of an announced crowd of 17,616.
In all, 21 minor penalties were called with the majority of those being obstruction calls as the players worked to get their legs under them.
The Senators had five power-play opportunities in the third period and 10 overall but couldn’t manage a goal. The Rangers had nine man advantages, including six in the first period, but they were able to capitalize on one of their opportunities. Both teams gave up a shorthanded goal.
Dany Heatley, Jason Spezza and Mike Fisher all scored for the Senators while Brandon Dubinsky scored twice, including once shorthanded, for the Rangers.
Both teams changed their netminders to start the third period as Brian Elliot replaced Martin Gerber in the Ottawa goal and Rangers starter Stephen Valiquette gave way to Miika Wiikman.
Heatley opened the scoring with a one-timer from outside the faceoff circle over the shoulder of Valiquette at 2:57 of the first period. Spezza doubled the Senators lead, scoring on a shorthanded breakaway at 13:17.
Fisher put the Senators up 3-0 at 2:12 of the second period when he stuffed his own rebound underneath Valiquette, but on their seventh power play of the game, Dubinsky got the Rangers on the board with a quick shot from the slot that beat Gerber high. He added his second goal with less than five minutes to play in the third period.
The Senators were outshot 36-18 in the game.
The teams meet again Sunday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.
Notes: The Senators went 7-0-0 during the 2007 pre-season and are 64-49-11 overall in pre-season games…Saturday’s game was the first time the Senators and Rangers have met in the pre-season.
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