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Ottawa's No. 1 line fails again vs. Anaheim's checkers

NHL.com @NHL

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -Different game, same shutout for Ottawa's No. 1 line.

Daniel Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza - the NHL's highest-scoring line - got blanked again in the Stanley Cup finals, with the Senators losing 1-0 Wednesday night to give the Anaheim Ducks a commanding 2-0 series lead.

"Anybody that writes this team off is crazy," Spezza said.

Game 3 is Saturday in Ottawa.

The unit that combined for 23 goals and 58 points through the first three rounds of the playoffs managed only six shots Wednesday. Spezza's lone shot in the third was the only one of the period for the threesome.

"We're trying. We're getting pucks," Spezza said. "We did a little better job of getting pucks on net and deep. We know our line's got to lead the way."

The trio - which combined for two assists in Monday's 3-2 loss - was held scoreless for the second time in Ottawa's 17 postseason games. They got blanked by Buffalo in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference finals.

"They didn't create much in the way of offense," Ottawa coach Bryan Murray said. "Yeah, I'm concerned. They have to help us win games on the road as well as at home."

Just like Monday, the Senators' trio was on the ice when the Ducks scored the winning goal. And the damage was again inflicted by Anaheim's top checking line of Rob Niedermayer, Samuel Pahlsson and Travis Moen, who had the game-winner Monday.

This time, after a turnover by Heatley, Pahlsson used Ottawa's Joe Corvo as a screen and scored from the right circle with a shot between the legs of Ray Emery at 14:16 of the third period.

"Alfredsson couldn't put a stick on Pahlsson," Murray said.

The Senators have gone 95 minutes, 24 seconds without scoring in the Cup finals.

"We had our chances here," Heatley said. "But we need to generate more chances."

Murray had said he was going to keep the Alfredsson-Heatley-Spezza line together for Game 2, wanting to give them time to meet the challenge against Niedermayer, Pahlsson and Moen.

So much for the talk.

He broke up the line to start the game, and then juggled it throughout.

"I was trying to get Alfredsson with (Mike) Fisher at parts of the game to get away from the checking and the pair of defense that they like to play against the Spezza line," Murray said.

The coach didn't disclose the switch until he handed in the lineup.

"Just to give everybody a little bit of an edge to start," Murray said. "I thought we got some great hits right off the bat. We had some tempo and motion and we skated together."

Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza got together for the first time nearly six minutes into the game on Anaheim's first power play, helping kill it off.

They were together later in the first period, and shared a couple of shifts in the second.

The trio killed off the remaining 1:37 of an Anaheim penalty that carried over into the third period.

"We had some good shifts," Murray said, "but obviously, when you don't score goals it means very little."

It also means the Senators are headed home in trouble.

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