OTTAWA (AP) _ The Ottawa Senators made the most of one of their rare home
games in March.
Peter Schaefer and Wade Redden scored first-period goals and Patrick Lalime
made 23 saves for his first shutout in over two months to lead Ottawa to a 2-0
victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
The Senators, who had lost two in a row to end a 2-3 trip, extended their
home point streak to 22 games in the second of just three games at the Corel
Centre this month.
``It's probably a confidence thing,'' Schaefer said of the team's home
success. ``We got home after a long road trip, got some rest, and I think
that's a big key, mentally and physically.''
Schaefer scored on a power play 12:31 in, and Redden beat goalie David
Aebischer 59 seconds later to put Ottawa up by two at 13:30.
Lalime, beaten for five goals on 22 shots in a 5-2 loss Tuesday at
Minnesota, recorded his fourth shutout of the season _ his first since Jan. 13.
``There were a lot of positives tonight,'' Lalime said. ``We came out of the
gate the way we wanted to and everybody gave a good effort.''
The Senators haven't lost in regulation at home (17-3-2) since a defeat
against Boston on Dec. 13.
``It was a big win for us,'' Redden said. ``Obviously it was something to
build on and we need much of the same. Everyone was going and playing hard, and
we need that every night.''
Ottawa is tied with Toronto with 92 points, one behind Northeast
Colorado, which leads the Northwest Division and is second overall in the
Western Conference, lost its second straight following a four-game winning
``It's really tight in our conference and in their conference, so we knew it
was a big game for both teams,'' Schaefer said.
The Avalanche, who lost 4-2 in Montreal on Tuesday, dropped just four of 36
road games through regulation before this three-game Canadian trip that
concludes Saturday in Toronto.
``We didn't play a bad game in Montreal, but tonight we weren't very sharp
and they played pretty well, obviously,'' Avalanche captain Joe Sakic said.
``It's a tough team to come back on when they're up 2-0. They play a solid
The Senators converted their only power-play opportunity of the opening
period after defenseman Rob Blake was penalized for playing the puck with a
broken stick midway through the first.
With eight seconds remaining in the ensuing power play, Schaefer scored his
15th goal when Greg de Vries' point shot off a faceoff in the Avalanche zone
deflected to him off the leg of Senators forward Chris Neil.
Redden scored his 16th just under a minute later when he jumped on a rebound
of Jason Spezza's shot and caught Aebischer out of position to score into an
open left side.
Rarely tested through the first two periods, when Ottawa held a 23-15 shots
advantage, Lalime came up with a pair of big saves while the Senators were
short-handed in the third.
Lalime stopped Sakic while Colorado enjoyed a five-on-three advantage for 54
seconds after Redden was sent off at 7:23 with Radek Bonk already in the
Bonk had just returned to the ice when Lalime stuck out his right pad to
deny Milan Hejduk's shot and rob the Avalanche of their best scoring chance.
``I was just trying to shoot for the far side with a little backhand, and
Lalime was there,'' Hejduk said. ``It was a pretty good save.''