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Lehner makes 28 saves to help Senators edge Islanders

The Canadian Press

2/26/2012 9:17:55 PM

OTTAWA -- It's safe to say that Erik Karlsson is out of his scoring funk.

Karlsson has 17 points in seven games -- including the Ottawa Senators' 5-2 win over the New York Islanders on Sunday -- after a five-game slump where he had a single goal following the NHL's all-star game.

Karlsson's two assists Sunday gave him 65 points and the record for most points in a season by a Senators' defenceman.

"I'm obviously happy about it but it's not something that is going to be in my mind for long right now. I'm going to have to wait until after the season to think about it," Karlsson said of the record.

"We've scored a lot of goals here over the last couple of games and obviously that helps out a lot."

The old record of 63 was set by Norm Maciver in 1992-93.

Robin Lehner made 28 saves in the win while Milan Michalek, Jason Spezza, Jim O'Brien, Chris Neil, and Kyle Turris also contributed with goals for the Senators (33-23-8).

Lehner was making his first start since being recalled from Binghamton on an emergency basis. He rejoined the NHL club after Craig Anderson cut his hand last Thursday in a culinary mishap.

It was Lehner's second start with Ottawa this season.

"I felt pretty comfortable and I felt like I saw the puck well," Lehner said.

"The defence really helped me out and the back checkers as well. They got a couple of goof chances, and one by my own mistake behind the net, but I felt good."

John Tavares and P.A. Parenteau scored for the Islanders (26-28-8) while Evgeni Nabokov made 19 saves.

The Senators led 2-1 heading into the third period when a turnover by Islanders defenceman Mike Mottau led directly to Ottawa's third goal of the evening, giving them a two-goal cushion five minutes into the period.

Mottau tried to backhand a pass from behind his net up the middle, but it went first to Chris Neil and then O'Brien, who took a wristshot that caught the top of Nabokov's glove before going in.

After Parenteau pulled the Islanders to within a goal at 9:04, Neil tapped a Nick Foligno pass out of midair and past Nabokov at 12:59 to restore the Senators' two-goal lead. Turris scored into an empty net to seal the victory.

"It was a big win all around," said Spezza. "It was a hard fought game and Robin did a good job of keeping us in that first period. It wasn't the best first 10 minutes we've had and he kept it 1-0 and gave us a chance to hang around in the game."

The power play proved to be a friend of the Senators in the second period as they converted both their opportunities into goals to take a 2-1 lead.

Karlsson fed Michalek in the slot and he then put a backhand past Nabokov at 12:21 to tie the game.

Just over four minutes later, Spezza ripped a slapshot over Nabokov's shoulder and in from the top of the faceoff circle. Karlsson had set up the play by faking a shot, then feeding Spezza cross ice.

"We've got to take a little more pride in our game and get back to our foundation, where it was at the start of the year. Some of the guys should look in the mirror and know they could have worked a little harder tonight and been a little stronger on the puck at times," Islanders coach Jack Capuano said.

"You can't look back though and you have to look forward. This next week is going to be huge."

The Islanders had taken a 1-0 lead just 49 seconds into the game as Tavares beat Lehner finishing up a two-on-one.

Notes: Prior to Sunday's game the Senators made a trade acquiring goaltender Ben Bishop from the St. Louis Blues in exchange for their second-round pick in the 2013 NHL draft. Bishop had spent the entire season with the Peoria Rivermen of the American Hockey league and has a 24-24-0 record. ... Brian Rolston, Steve Staios and Josh Bailey were scratches for the Islanders Sunday while Zenon Konopka and Matt Carkner sat for the Senators.