Well worth the wait for Sens’ D-men

André Benoit and David Dziurzynski scored their first NHL goals and the Ottawa Senators beat the New York Islanders 3-1 on Tuesday night.

André Benoit celebrates his first NHL goal with his teammates Tuesday night. The Senators won 3-1 with Benoit's goal standing up as the game-winner. Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images.

All good things come to those who wait.

At the tender age of 29 years, one month, Ottawa Senators defenceman André Benoit scored his first NHL goal in the Senators’ 3-1 win over the New York Islanders.

Benoit’s goal, which gave the Senators a 2-0 lead midway through the second period, was a pivotal one, as the Islanders fought hard in the final period, coming within one after Travis Hamonic scored early in the third period.

Making the story even better was the fact David Dziurzynski scored the insurance goal — also his first NHL goal — with 2:35 remaining.

It is all so appropriate.

Considering all the injuries facing the Senators, the club’s offence is going to have to come from unlikely sources. Colin Greening also scored for the Senators, his first goal since Jan. 27 and his first point since Jan. 30.

They’re also going to need to continue to play stingy defence. The Senators came into the game with a goals-against average of 1.85, second in the league behind the Chicago Blackhawks.

Once again Tuesday, the Senators received stellar goaltending from Craig Anderson, who stopped 37 shots to improve his record at Scotiabank Place to 6-0-2.

The game was scoreless in the second period when the tide turned on a holding penalty by the Islanders’ Kyle Okposo behind the Senators net.

A mere 24 seconds into the power play, Greening broke the goal-less deadlock. After Daniel Alfredsson passed the puck out front, DiPietro stopped Stéphane Da Costa, but the Islanders’ goaltender couldn’t handle the rebound that went to Greening.

It was a welcome goal for Greening, who was a healthy scratch Saturday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

It was also the Senators’ first power-play goal since Feb. 5, ending an 0-for-24 stretch.

Only 2:36 later, Benoit padded the lead to 2-0, celebrating his first big-league goal with an arm pump. The goal came following a pretty set up by Jakob Silfverberg and with Kyle Turris creating traffic in front of DiPietro. That was fitting. Back on Feb. 3, Benoit thought he had scored his first goal against the Montreal Canadiens, but it was waved off when officials ruled that Silfverberg had interfered with Montreal goaltender Carey Price.

Before and after the goals, Anderson was the story of the period. The Islanders outshot the Senators 17-10 in the second and had several outstanding chances.

Following a relatively even and goal-less first period, the Islanders came at the Senators in the opening five minutes of the middle period, forcing Anderson to make eight saves, including outstanding pad stops off Marty Reasoner and Lubomir Visnovsky.

After the two Senators’ goals, Anderson robbed Josh Bailey with his pad and John Tavares from in close on an Islanders’ power play. Bailey had his share of chances throughout. With 1:10 left in the first period, he hit the crossbar.

Yet, as the saying goes, you’ve got to be lucky to be good and good to be lucky. Early in the game, Anderson and the Senators benefited when Matt Martin fired the puck over the net following an excellent feed from Mark Streit.

Anderson came into the game with a 1.61 GAA, a .947 save percentage and a 5-0-2 record at Scotiabank Place this season.

DiPietro, meanwhile, sported an 0-2 record with a 4.60 average and .842 save percentage. He drew the start because No. 1 goaltender Evgeni Nabokov surrended seven goals on 25 shots in Monday’s 7-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.

GAME FILE

CHEERS

Craig Anderson, Senators.

Quite frankly, he’s making it look too easy. After yet another superb effort, stopping 37 shots, he’s 6-0-2 at Scotiabank Place. He kept the game scoreless when the Islanders pressed early in the second period.

JEERS

Rick DiPietro, Islanders.

The Islanders were still close, in the game, when he bobbled Dziurzynski’s innocent wrist shot. The Senators’ power winger drove to the net and pushed the puck over the sprawled Islanders’ goaltender, who faced 26 shots.

WHY THEY WON:

Anderson (see above) and a willingless to find a way to win. Similar to Monday’s 2-1 shootout win over the New Jersey Devils, the Senators found just enough offence at just the right time.

HISTORY REPEATS ITSELF

Back on Feb. 3, Benoit thought he had scored his first goal against the Montreal Canadiens, but it was waved off when officials ruled that Silfverberg had interfered with Montreal goaltender Carey Price. On Tuesday, Silfverberg set up Benoit for another goal. This one counted for real.

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