Senators extend franchise-record winning streak to 11 games

OTTAWA -- The Vancouver Canucks' NHL-record trip got just a little bit longer after Jason Spezza, Brian Elliott and the Ottawa Senators all extended their streaks for the second time in two nights.

Spezza scored his ninth goal in his last eight games and Ottawa extended its team-record winning streak to 11 with a 3-1 victory over the Canucks on Thursday night.

Elliott made 29 saves to break his own team record with his ninth straight win. He lost a shutout bid when Kyle Wellwood scored a power-play goal with 1:39 left.

"Ells has been phenomenal," said Spezza, who extended his goals streak to six games, tying Dany Heatley's team record. "There's not enough we can say about how well he's played. He just keeps it going and it seems like every night he seems better and better, so it's going well for us."

Milan Michalek had a goal and an assist and Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson had three assists a night after scoring twice in the final minute to lead the Senators to a 4-2 victory in Buffalo.

Spezza, who scored twice against the Sabres, has scored in every game since he returned from a knee injury. He also scored in each of his two games prior to his injury, though that is not considered part of his streak.

"I'm not too worried. I'm just trying to keep scoring," Spezza said. "I'm feeling good about my game right now and just trying to get pucks on net. I can't really worry about what they consider a streak and what they don't -- I consider it a streak, in my mind."

Chris Kelly scored into an empty net with 40.5 seconds remaining.

Vancouver, playing the third game of its 14-game trip, lost its second in a row following a seven-game winning streak.

Andrew Raycroft, who recorded his 100th career loss, made 18 saves in his first start in two months. Raycroft had made two relief appearances -- including his 99th career win in the Canucks' 5-3 come-from-behind win in Toronto on Saturday night -- since allowing four goals in a 5-3 loss at Carolina on Dec. 5.

The Canucks fell to 1-2 on the eight-game first leg of their record road trip while GM Place is being prepared for the Winter Olympics. Vancouver, which plays six straight on the road following the games, does not play at home again until they host the Senators on March 13.

"We had been good on the road prior to these last two games and our game in Montreal, but that being said, we've got a lot of guys whose personal stats on the road are definitely as good as they are at home," Canucks coach Alain Vigneault said.

Michalek opened the scoring with a power-play goal 1:34 in. Alfredsson faked a shot before dishing off to Alexei Kovalev, who held the puck before feeding a pass to the slot which Michalek redirected past Raycroft for his 19th of the season.

Ottawa had several more scoring chances throughout the first before Spezza made it a two-goal lead late in the opening period.

Linemates Alfredsson and Michalek drew assists as Spezza drove to the net and slid a shot past Raycroft for his 12th goal.

"We missed two open nets off rebounds," Alfredsson said. "You can't worry about it but sometimes it does come back and haunt you later in games but Spezza's goal was really big to give us that two-goal cushion and it allowed us to play a little bit more -- I won't say defensive, but smarter. We didn't have to force as much or take charge. We let them come and created our chances from turnovers."

Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson left the game late in the second period. He suffered an upper-body injury and did not return.

Game notes
Raycroft, who won the Calder Trophy with Boston in 2003-04, is 99-100-26 overall with the Bruins, Toronto, Colorado and Vancouver. ... Luongo had made 26 straight starts. He went 17-6-2 over that span. ... Elliott won eight in a row last season.