OTTAWA (AP) — The Ottawa Senators are used to Craig Anderson making outstanding saves. His teammates believe he took things to a new level Thursday night.
Anderson stopped 39 shots in the Ottawa Senators' home opener, a 5-2 win over New Jersey on Thursday night that left the Devils as the only winless team in the NHL.
Two of Anderson's saves were highlight reel worthy.
The first came in the second period with his back to the play when he managed to stretch out and get a leg out to stop Ryan Carter. The second came in the third period when he made an outstanding stick save on Jaromir Jagr.
"I don't know if you ever get used to it," Jason Spezza said. "You still marvel at some of the saves he makes. That's one of the best I've seen. That keeps us with the lead, keeps our confidence up and you get one or two saves like that every couple of nights and it gives you a chance to win."
Even the Devils' Martin Brodeur, who had his share of struggles on the night, had praise for Anderson.
"He was battling out there," Brodeur said. "It wasn't real pretty to watch, but he got it done. It's exciting goaltending, there's no doubt about that. He's the reason they got two points."
Anderson said for the most part, he was just "making it up as he went along."
In addition to Anderson being solid in net, the Senators had strong performances from Spezza and Erik Karlsson with a goal and two assists apiece.
The win marked the Senators first victory on home ice as they spent the first two weeks of the season on the road. Bobby Ryan, Zack Smith, and Milan Michalek also scored.
The Devils (0-4-3) remain winless and Brodeur was far from his best, facing 23 shots. Travis Zajac and Steve Bernier scored for New Jersey.
Karlsson opened the scoring four minutes into the game, taking a great feed from Ryan and beating Brodeur with a blast on the Senators' first shot of the game.
"We were excited to come home," Spezza said. "We definitely used the energy and got off to our best start of the season so far and that led to us winning the game."
Just over two minutes later, Kyle Turris found Ryan behind the net and Ryan scored on the wraparound. With things looking like they could quickly spiral out of control, New Jersey called a timeout.
"It's never easy," Devils coach Peter DeBoer said. "We didn't quit. We dug in and tried to battle out of the hole."