Eric Staal scored the game's only goal and Dan Ellis saved 33 shots to notch his 13th career shutout, as the Carolina Hurricanes blanked the Ottawa Senators, 1-0, on Friday at PNC Arena.
Alexander Semin and Joe Corvo each added an assist for the Hurricanes, who have won three of their last four games.
"It's like any athlete in pro sports, you get the opportunity, you have to take advantage of it," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said of Ellis, who made just his second start of the season. "He played well, but I thought our guys also played really strong in front of him."
Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson, fresh off being named the NHL's First Star for the month of January, stopped 34 shots in the setback as the Senators had their two-game winning streak snapped.
Ottawa's offense struggled without top center Jason Spezza, who missed his second straight game with a herniated disk in his back. The team announced Thursday that the 29-year-old Spezza is expected to undergo back surgery that will leave him sidelined indefinitely.
Carolina relied on its top center to get its offense going and Staal abided at the 15:45 mark of the first period. Semin carried the puck into the slot and flipped a low shot that Staal redirected high over the shoulder of Anderson to make it 1-0.
The Senators outshot the Hurricanes 13-9 in the second, but failed to score on a pair of power plays to leave them trailing 1-0 heading into the third.
Ellis stood tall in the final stanza, turning away all eight shots he faced to keep his shutout intact.
"I thought we were on the outside a little too much," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean admitted. "I thought our team really came out in the third and tried to give ourselves a chance to get something out of the game and that's all we can ask from them."
Spezza had two goals and three assists through five games this season ... Ottawa has lost nine of its past 10 at PNC Arena ... Carolina begins a six- game road trip on Saturday in Philadelphia ... Ottawa visits Montreal on Sunday.