OTTAWA (AP) - Ray Emery was unaware he had a shot at NHL history until just a few moments before he achieved it.
Emery won his record ninth straight game to start his career, stopping 27 shots to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 4-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
"Starting out, you just want to make a good impression and play your best," said Emery, who made 27 saves for his first career shutout.
He improved to 9-0 in 12 career games and moved ahead of Bob Froese, who went 8-0 to begin his career with Philadelphia in 1982-83. Emery beat Montreal for the third time this season to improve to 6-0 in six starts - three of his wins came during the previous two seasons.
"It just kind of worked out that over the course of the past three years, I played a couple of games here and there and I had a great team in front of me all the time so I reeled off nine kind of without recognizing it until the end of it," Emery said.
He got great support on offense again Tuesday night.
Dany Heatley extended his point streak to 22 games, and Jason Spezza, the NHL's offensive player of the week, scored for the fifth straight game and picked up his 30th assist of the season on Daniel Alfredsson's team-leading 20th goal.
Heatley, the other winger on Ottawa's potent top line, also earned an assist on Alfredsson's goal 5:45 into the second period, prompting a loud cheer from the team-record crowd of 19,858. He's the only player in the league to record a point in each of his team's games this season.
Acquired from Atlanta in a trade for Marian Hossa before the season, Heatley is within one game of tying the record for the longest point streak with a new team. Wayne Gretzky had a 23-game streak to begin his stint with the Los Angeles Kings in 1988-89.
Montreal, which has lost three straight and five of six, dressed 19 players, one less than standard. The Canadiens had to make do with five defenseman, including Jean-Philippe Cote who made his NHL debut after being called up from Hamilton of the AHL earlier in the day.
"These guys, on a good night, are tough to play against," said Canadiens defenseman Craig Rivet, who logged a team-high 29:03 of ice time. "When you're playing with five (defensemen) and a young guy that's traveled all day to be here and he gets in three hours before the game - those aren't excuses, I think that for the most part we played a solid game. I'm happy we never quit."
Having already lost Sheldon Souray to injury and Andrei Markov to an automatic three-game suspension for pushing a linesman at the end of Saturday's 4-3 overtime loss in Toronto, Montreal found itself one short on the blue line when Mike Komisarek was forced to leave the team because of a family emergency. Minor leaguer Ron Hainsey was claimed off waivers by Columbus.
"I think when you consider the position that we were in with our roster and all the situations that have happened in the past couple of days, I thought we played a pretty tight game," coach Claude Julien said.
Martin Havlat and Mike Fisher also scored for Eastern Conference-leading Ottawa, which won its sixth straight to tie its season-high winning streak to begin the season. Havlat suffered a dislocated right shoulder early in the third period when he slammed into the boards after an open-ice hit by Montreal's Michael Ryder.
"They're doing an X-ray, but they won't know more until they do an MRI (on Wednesday)," Senators coach Bryan Murray said. "I think he was in a great deal of pain originally. It's a time thing now. I'm not a doctor, but I think it's over a month at least, and it might be two."
Spezza opened the scoring with a power-play goal 8:39 in. Alfredsson made it 2-0 when he got behind Cote early in the second.
Cote was in the penalty box serving an interference penalty when Havlat added another power-play goal 8:12 into the second period.
Fisher added insult to injury with less than 2 minutes left as Theodore stumbled while positioning himself to face a breakaway, but sprawled out of position while the Senators forward slipped the puck past him.
Notes: The Canadiens outshot Ottawa 27-26 overall, including 12-9 in the second period. ... Ottawa RW Chris Neil assisted on Spezza's goal in his return to the lineup after missing three games following his mother's death in a car accident a week earlier. ... Julien expects Souray to return Thursday against Buffalo. Souray has missed four games because of a groin injury. "We'll stay optimistic and think of Plan A, and if that doesn't happen, then we'll work on Plan B," the Canadiens coach said.