Senators rookie brings back father's 'Foligno Leap' in 4-3 win over Canadiens

Updated: October 18, 2007, 11:15 PM ET
Associated Press

OTTAWA -- The Foligno Leap made it back to hockey's big stage, if only for one night.

Jason Spezza scored his first goal of the season, Nick Foligno gave his father a big nod after his first career goal and the Ottawa Senators beat the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 on Thursday night.

After Alex Kovalev scored Montreal's second power-play goal of the game with 7:09 left to tie it at 3, Spezza brought the Scotiabank Place crowd of 20,019 to its feet as he restored Ottawa's lead 24 seconds later.

Spezza took advantage after Montreal right wing Tom Kostopoulos turned over the puck in his own zone. Spezza, who entered with 11 assists in seven games, jumped on Daniel Alfredsson's rebound and beat Canadiens rookie Carey Price.

"It happens," Price said of the turnover. "It's not the only thing that went wrong today. There were lots of mistakes made and we lost the game as a team. I could have played better, I'm sure there are lots of guys who could have played better."

The most memorable moment of the game, however, happened when Foligno gave the Senators a 2-1 lead with a wraparound goal 4 minutes into the second period. After scoring his first goal in eight games, Foligno brought back a familiar sight -- the Foligno Leap.

As a tribute to his father, the 19-year-old rookie mimicked former NHL player Mike Foligno's signature goal celebration, bringing up his knees and jumping as he leaned forward clenching both fists.

"I don't know how he did it so many times," said Foligno, who said he planned to call his father. "I was a little sore after but it was a lot of fun. Hopefully there'll be many more goals to come."

The celebration was a popular one with his teammates, who had egged on the newcomer leading up to his first NHL goal.

"It was an OK copy of the original, but the original is the original," said Dany Heatley, who recorded his 400th career point with his seventh goal of the season.

Foligno, who turns 20 on Oct. 31, made it clear that the tribute was a one-off deal.

"That's his thing," Foligno said. "I'm a completely different player and I just want to be able to go out there and do my job, whatever it may be. If it's scoring goals, I'll just do it like the rest of the guys."

Wade Redden, who assisted on Foligno's goal, scored on a power play 31 seconds in.

Alfredsson had three assists as Ottawa won for the seventh time in eight games.

Martin Gerber stopped 28 shots for his sixth win in seven starts.

Price, chosen fifth overall in the 2005 draft, made 29 saves in his second career start. The 20-year-old goalie stopped 26 shots in his NHL debut, a 3-2 win in Pittsburgh on Oct. 10.

Guillaume Latendresse, a healthy scratch for Tuesday's 2-1 shootout loss to Florida, and Michael Ryder both scored their first goals of the season for Montreal.

After Canadiens defenseman Patrice Brisebois was sent off for holding just 17 seconds in, Redden opened the scoring 14 seconds later when his point shot along the ice beat Price cleanly between the legs.

"I'm sure that (Price) would like to have that first one back but he's young, he's learning, and he's just going to get better," Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau said.

Latendresse tied it on a sharp-angled shot from the left corner that somehow got between Gerber's right pad and the left post.

The game was delayed briefly while video goal judge Louis Therien reviewed the play to ensure and confirm that the puck hadn't gone through a hole in the mesh or slid under the net.

Heatley beat Price between the legs on a breakaway at 12:43 in the second period to make it 3-1. The high-scoring 26-year-old has 187 goals and 213 assists in 362 regular season games.

Ryder drew Montreal within one on a power play following Heatley's goal, scoring off a scramble with 5:28 left in the second.< ^Notes@: Mike Foligno set career highs with 41 goals, 39 assists, and 80 points for Buffalo in 1986-87. He also played for Detroit, Toronto and Florida, finishing his 15-year career with 355 goals and 727 points in 1,018 regular season games. ... Canadiens LW Garth Murray broke his right ankle during Tuesday's game and is out indefinitely. ... D Josh Gorges and C Kyle Chipchura didn't dress for Montreal. ... Senators LW Antoine Vermette left the game in the first period because of back spasms. He did not return. ... C Randy Robitaille made his Ottawa debut after signing a one-year, $650,000 deal Tuesday. ... The Senators are in the midst of a stretch of just three games in 18 days.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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