Daniel Alfredsson, Erik Karlsson and Chris Kelly also tallied for Ottawa, which had dropped three of four coming into the contest. Peter Regin chipped in with a pair of assists. The Senators haven’t lost at home to Phoenix since December 12, 1998, a span of six games.
Brian Elliott turned aside 28-of-30 shots to pick up the win.
Sami Lepisto and Keith Yandle scored for the Coyotes, who have dropped six of seven since opening the season with a 5-2 win over Boston in the Czech Republic.
Jason LaBarbera got the start in net for Phoenix and allowed three goals on 20 shots before getting pulled after one period in favor of Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped 14-of-16 shots the rest of the way.
Trailing 3-1 after two periods, Phoenix was unable to capitalize on a power play chance early in the third, but Yandle’s tally briefly cut the deficit to one at 6:58. However, Kovalev put home a rebound on the doorstep 48 seconds later to restore the Senators’ two-goal advantage.
Skating with a 5-on-3 advantage later in the period, Kovalev sent a cross ice pass from the right circle to Alfredsson, who redirected it past Bryzgalov at the far post to close out the scoring with 4:16 remaining.
Ottawa jumped on the Coyotes for a pair of goals nine seconds apart early in the opening period.
First, it was Karlsson putting home a rebound while on the power play from in close on the right side at 5:27. Then, off the ensuing faceoff, Kovalev took a pass from Regin and beat LaBarbera with a wrist shot from the left circle at 5:36.
It proved to be the fastest two goals in Senators history. The previous span was 10 seconds when Martin Straka and Antti Tormanen hit the net on October 19, 1995 against Calgary.
Kelly made it a 3-0 game at 14:45 when he threw a weak backhander from below the goal line that hit off a defenseman and squeezed through LaBarbera.
Lepisto’s blast from the point 4:15 into the second stanza got the Coyotes on the board. Ottawa was able to kill off three Phoenix power play opportunities the rest of the period and take a 3-1 lead into the intermission.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan returned to the ice after wrapping up a three-game suspension on Monday for a hit to the head versus the Ducks last Sunday…Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar appeared in his 1,000th career game…Ottawa forward Jason Spezza missed his third straight game with a groin injury.