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Senators 2, Rangers 0 @NHL

OTTAWA (AP) -The Ottawa Senators figure to have an enviable goaltending problem whenever Ray Emery is ready to resume playing.

Martin Gerber stopped 35 shots for his eighth career shutout and Daniel Alfredsson had a goal and an assist, leading the Ottawa Senators to a 2-0 win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night.

Gerber, who got his first shutout since Feb. 14, has led Ottawa to three straight wins to begin the season while starting goalie Emery recovers from offseason wrist surgery.

"Everybody said that you can't have two No. 1 goalies, it takes up a lot of cap room, but it's a good comfort to have," Alfredsson said. "Both of them, we know what they can do and it's obviously nice for Marty to see him playing this well when we need him to."

Alfredsson, who had two goals including the winner in overtime of Thursday's 3-2 victory over Toronto, scored for the third straight game 5:40 in when he beat Henrik Lundqvist to put Ottawa up 2-0.

He had an assist 53 seconds earlier when Andrej Meszaros opened the scoring with a short-handed goal.

"After we scored those goals we had a little bit more control of the game but at the beginning we were a little bit flat," said Gerber, who dressed for each of the Senators' 20 playoff games last spring without making an appearance. "They came out really hard, but by scoring those two goals we were really able to slow them down a little bit."

Ottawa center Mike Fisher made the big play on the opening goal as he carried the puck into the Rangers' zone and drove past New York defenseman Michal Rozsival to chase the puck in the left corner.

Fisher drew defenseman Marek Malik towards him and put a centering pass to Meszaros, who was left all alone in the slot and beat Lundqvist with a quick shot for his first goal of the season.

"Mez skated up on the play, read it really well and got himself open and made a good shot," Fisher said.

"They're a good hockey club," Rangers captain Jaromir Jagr said. "You give them chances like that and they're going to score."

The Senators killed five Rangers power plays and have yet to allow a power-play goal in 19 penalty-killing situations this season.

Lundqvist stopped 31 shots.

Rangers left wing Sean Avery left with a shoulder injury resulting from a hit by Senators right wing Chris Neil 7:23 in.

Avery went directly to the dressing room and did not return. Neil was penalized for elbowing on the play. The two rugged players were given roughing minors for a skirmish 56 seconds into the game.

"That's his game, it's no secret. He loves to hit," said new Rangers center Chris Drury, who was with Buffalo when he suffered a concussion on an unpenalized open ice hit by Neil on Feb. 22. "He's good at hitting. He works hard. Obviously some are questionable, the ones he gets penalties on, but that's what he loves to do. He loves to hit."

Neil, who fought with Jason Strudwick at 14:38 of the first, accounted for 13 of Ottawa's 17 penalty minutes in the game, including another elbowing minor 5:08 into the third for an open-ice hit on Rangers center Petr Prucha.

"It's disappointing," Neil said. "There's not much to say. They gave me two penalties for them. I feel they were clean hits. The coaching staff comes in and pat me on the back and say, 'Good hit'. So I think that says a lot. A lot of their guys know it's a clean hit as well. Some of their guys came up to me on the ice and said that. Jason Strudwick was one of them. He has to do a job out there, he came to Avery's aid, and you know he has to do what he has to do."

Notes: Strudwick made his season debut in place of D Paul Mara, who was a healthy scratch for the Rangers. D Thomas Pock and LW Marcel Hossa didn't dress for a second straight game. ... Alfredsson (four goals, one assist) is tied with Dany Heatley for the Senators' scoring lead with five points. Heatley, who had three goals and two assists in Ottawa's back-to-back wins over Toronto, failed to register a point against the Rangers. ... C Jason Spezza got his fourth assist on Alfredsson's goal, extending his assist and points streak to three games. ... Veteran D Luke Richardson made his hometown debut for the Senators after being a healthy scratch for Ottawa's first two games. ... The Senators had their 22nd consecutive sellout, including nine playoff games last spring.

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