Sens stretch streak with rare win over Canucks

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OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Ottawa Senators stretched their winning streak to 11 games with a 3-1 victory over the Vancouver Canucks Thursday, defeating their Canadian rivals for the first time since 2004.

The Senators built an early 2-0 lead on first period goals from Milan Michalek and Jason Spezza before Chris Kelly sealed the contest with 41 seconds remaining after Vancouver had threatened a late comeback.

Goaltender Brian Elliott made 29 saves as red-hot Ottawa (33-21-4) extended their franchise-record streak and moved within one point of Northeast Division leaders, the Buffalo Sabres.

"(Elliot) has been phenomenal," Spezza told reporters. "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."

Northwest-leading Vancouver (34-20-2) was held scoreless until Kyle Wellwood found the net with a wrist shot 58 seconds before Kelly struck the final goal.

The visitors peppered Elliot with 16 shots in the third but the Senators held firm, limiting their 11th straight opponent to just two goals or fewer.

The loss was the second in a row for the Canucks, after they notched a seven-game winning streak. They are now 1-2 on their record 14-game road trip, scheduled to allow for this month's Winter Olympics.

"We had been good on the road prior to these last two games and our game in Montreal," said Canucks coach Alain Vigneault. "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."

Spezza maintained his outstanding form since returning from a knee injury last month and has nine goals from his last eight games.

Daniel Alfredsson added three assists to complement his last-gasp heroics Wednesday, when he scored twice in the final minute to seal a win over the Buffalo Sabres.

(Writing by Jahmal Corner; Editing by Ian Ransom)