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Senators-Avalanche Preview @NHLdotcom
Senators-Avalanche Preview

GAME: Ottawa Senators (21-4-2) at Colorado Avalanche (16-11-3).

TIME: Monday, 9 p.m. EST.

Consecutive losses are something new to the Ottawa Senators.

The NHL's highest-scoring team tries to end its first two-game skid of the season when it faces the Colorado Avalanche at the Pepsi Center.

Following a 3-2 shootout loss to Vancouver on Friday in which they were outshot 38-23 and went 0-for-8 on the power play, the Senators' offensive woes continued Saturday in a 2-1 overtime defeat to Calgary.

Ottawa had a season-low 21 shots on goal and went 1-for-8 with the man advantage. Peter Schaefer had given the Senators a 1-0 lead in the first period with his sixth goal.

"(Friday) was tough because we didn't play very well," Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We turned the puck over lots and half the game we were in the penalty box. Tonight, we played a solid road game except for a couple of mistakes late in the game that gave them the chance to come back and win it."

Alfredsson was held without a point for the fourth time in five games, and linemates Dany Heatley (one assist in three games) and Jason Spezza (two assists in five games) have struggled recently as well.

Ray Emery made 27 saves, but suffered his first loss in 10 career decisions. His shutout streak of 117 minutes, 45 seconds ended when Tony Amonte scored at 12:40 of the third period.

Wade Redden, fourth on the Senators with 21 points, missed his eighth straight game Saturday with a sprained knee. He has been practicing and is nearing a return. Redden has four goals and eight points in 13 games against the Avalanche.

Colorado won two in a row before a 4-3 loss Saturday to lowly Pittsburgh, which entered with six straight defeats.

"We definitely played a desperate team," Avalanche coach Joel Quenneville said. "You can really tell it was a meaningful game on their end of it."

Milan Hejduk, Dan Hinote and Marek Svatos scored for the Avalanche, but they were outshot 35-26 and went 1-for-8 on the power play.

Vitaly Kolesnik had 31 saves but lost his first game following consecutive wins since being called up from the minors Tuesday.

"He had some momentum going on his side," Quenneville said. "I think he played very well and gave us a chance to win."

Joe Sakic had an assist to extend his point streak to nine games. Sakic has 17 goals and 41 points in 30 games against the Senators.

Ottawa is 7-2-2 in its last 11 meetings with the Avalanche, but is 2-12-1 against the Quebec/Colorado franchise on the road.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 11): Senators - 44 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Avalanche - 35 points, 3rd place (tied), 5 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Alfredsson, 21 goals; Spezza, 32 assists and 43 points; Zdeno Chara, 78 PIM. Avalanche - Svatos, 14 goals; Alex Tanguay, 23 assists and 34 points; Ian Laperriere, 50 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 11): Senators - Power play: 21.1 percent (36 for 170), tied for 3rd in NHL. Penalty killing: 87 percent (155 for 178), tied for 2nd. Avalanche - Power play: 19.5 percent (38 for 194), tied for 6th. Penalty killing: 84.4 percent (141 for 167), 7th.

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Dominik Hasek (15-4-1, 3 SO, 1.99 GAA); Emery (6-0-1, 1, 2.24). Avalanche - David Aebischer (11-6-0, 1, 3.37); Peter Budaj (3-4-3, 2.61).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Senators, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: March 18, 2004; Senators, 2-0. At Ottawa, Patrick Lalime made 23 saves for his fourth shutout of the season, and Schaefer and Redden scored to lift the Senators.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 9-2-2 on the road; Avalanche - 8-4-3 at home.

Associated Press
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