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Martin Gerber stops 24 shots as Ottawa blanks the Lightning 2-0 @NHL

OTTAWA - Martin Gerber stopped 24 shots to register his first shutout of the season on Saturday as the Ottawa Senators beat the Tampa Bay Lightning 2-0.

It was just the second victory of the year for the 34-year-old goalie, who lost the starting job to Alex Auld in October.

Alexander Picard and Daniel Alfredsson, into an empty net, scored for Ottawa (11-12-5).

The Lightning dropped to 7-15-8 but had bigger concerns than that after watching winger Martin St. Louis leave the game with a cut to his face. He was inadvertantly hit with linesman Derek Amell's skate in the final minute of the third period and was bleeding profusely while being escorted to the dressing room.

"He got a cut pretty hard on the eye," said Tampa coach Rick Tocchet. "They're stitching him up right now. Pretty good gash."

Mike Smith stopped 31 of the 32 shots he faced in goal for Tampa.

The first period was scoreless and Gerber made sure of that as he robbed Paul Szczechura point blank with a glove save in the final minute of the period.

Picard got Ottawa on the board with a power play goal at 5:04 of the second period. He got the puck at the left point, took a few strides toward the net and fired a shot over Smith's shoulder.

It came just moments after a two-man advantage had expired.

Dany Heatley - along with the 18,446 in attendance at Scotiabank Place - thought he scored to give the Senators a 2-0 lead with 4:11 to play in the third period, but Lightning defenceman Paul Ranger cleared the puck away just as it was about to completely clear the goal-line.

Alfredsson iced the game with an empty netter at 19:15 of the third period.

Notes: Heatley needs one point for 500 in his NHL career ... Antoine Vermette has no goals and just one point in his last 17 games ... The Lightning (68 goals) and Senators (66 goals) are ranked 29th and 30th respectively in the NHL in scoring this season ... Tampa forward Mark Recchi needs two points to reach 1,400 for his career.

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