OTTAWA - It was always supposed to be a memorable night in Ottawa — it just turned out differently than expected.
On a day when longtime Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson announced his retirement and said his goodbyes to the Ottawa crowd, it was Islanders goaltender Jaroslav Halak who stole the spotlight once the game started.
Halak made 20 saves Thursday night, setting a franchise record for consecutive wins as New York defeated the Senators 2-1.
Halak, with a 14-4-0 record this season, won his 11 straight game to surpass Billy Smith's 1982 record.
"It's always nice, but I would say I'm not here to chase any records or anything," said Halak. "I'm here to have fun, play hockey and try to help the guys win the game."
Casey Cizikas scored the game winner for the Islanders (19-7-0). Brock Nelson also scored.
The Senators (10-10-5) are now winless in their last four games.
"After one loss you've got some concern," said Ottawa's Chris Neil. "You want to win as many games as possible, but right now we're just finding ways to lose games."
Mika Zibanejad scored the lone goal for Ottawa, while Craig Anderson faced 25 shots.
Anderson has lost his last five starts for the first time since an eight-game skid from Jan. 21-Feb. 11, 2012.
The Senators goaltender was unavailable for comment following the game.
Alfredsson, who announced his retirement in the morning, took part in the pre-game warm-up where he bid his final farewell to a soldout crowd of 20,511 at Canadian Tire Centre.
"I still think the day was what it is and it was a great day," said captain Erik Karlsson. "That was the positive of the day and obviously we didn't win the game and that's not fun and that's a separate situation from the other one and I don't think either of them are going to overshadow the other one."
Added alternate captain Chris Phillips: "It's very disappointing not to win that game with the hype and energy that we had out there."
This was the Senators' second straight loss to the Islanders this week. New York defeated Ottawa 3-2 in overtime on Tuesday.
Halak was instrumental in both games, although the Senators rarely tested him Thursday night with just nine shots through two periods.
"I think the last two nights (Halak) would be the first to tell you I thought we did a pretty good job," said Islanders coach Jack Capuano. "We didn't give him much (to face) through two periods tonight, and the last game we didn't give the opposition too much.
"To me you've got to stay focused, and he's doing that. It's great to see him break the record and he deserves it."
The Islanders took the lead at 13:33 of the third as Thomas Hickey made a cross-ice pass to Cizikas, who beat Anderson with the one-timer.
Special teams were the difference in the second period as both teams scored with the man advantage.
The Islanders opened the scoring at the 11-minute mark as Nelson took a great pass from Frans Nielsen behind the net to beat Anderson.
The Senators made the most of a two-man advantage to tie the game. With Nelson already in the box, Brian Strait took a high-sticking penalty. Erik Karlsson and Zibanejad played give-and-go before Zibanejad rifled a shot through Halak's pads.
Both teams failed to score in the first period.
"Overall we played pretty solid and (Anderson) gave us a chance to win the game, but we just couldn't get the puck in the net," said Karlsson. "That's frustrating sometimes, but at least we played well for most of the 60 minutes and we just have to build off that."
Ottawa defenceman Marc Methot played his first game of the season after missing the first 24 games with a lower body injury.
"I was pretty happy with my game," said Methot. "I just kept it simple and I didn't try and do anything too fancy. I think as the games progress I'll get better."
The Senators are back in action Saturday as they take on the Pittsburgh Penguins, while the Islanders return home to take on the St. Louis Blues.
Notes: The Senators placed D Patrick Wiercioch on injured reserve with a muscle strain. D Jared Cowen, C Colin Greening and C Zack Smith were healthy scratches. The Islanders were without D Travis Hamonic (upper-body) and RW Cal Clutterbuck (lower-body). Both are day-to-day. C Josh Bailey was a healthy scratch.