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Post-game report: Anaheim 4 Ottawa 3 (SO)

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators

OTTAWA (CP) - The Ottawa Senators really didn't deserve anything for their performance, but they were thankful to walk away with a single point.

The Anaheim Mighty Ducks outplayed the Senators on Thursday night and were more than deserving of the 4-3 victory, even if it did take a shootout. The game was forced into overtime after Dany Heatley scored short-handed with 2:28 remaining in regulation.

Heatley, Daniel Alfredsson and Patrick Eaves were unable to beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere in the shootout.

Chris Kunitz was the lone Anaheim player to beat Dominik Hasek in the shootout.

After the game the Senators weren't making any excuses, but they really didn't have any answers either.

"Anaheim was quicker and worked harder than us," said Senators head coach Bryan Murray.

Hasek, who made 36 saves, was clearly disappointed by his team's effort.

"I think that with the way we played the first 40 minutes we should be happy to have one point," said Hasek. "Anaheim played really well the whole 60 minutes. We were lucky to come back."

The loss was only the fifth at home this season for Ottawa (31-11-3), and the first in the newly named Scotiabank Place.

Kunitz, Teemu Selanne and Todd Marchant scored for Anaheim (20-16-9), while Giguere faced 33 shots.

Ottawa's goal scorers were Heatley, Eaves and Bryan Smolinski.

The Senators opened the scoring with a power-play goal at the two-minute mark of the game when Smolinski beat Giguere with a long shot from the side boards.

Eaves picked up his 10th of the season to give the Senators a 2-0 lead, much to the delight of the 19,387 on hand.

The second period belonged to the Mighty Ducks as they scored three unanswered goals.

"Anytime you can get points in this building it's a positive," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "They have a great home record and are undoubtedly one of the best teams in the league."

Kunitz opened the scoring just 24 seconds into the second as Anaheim started the period with a two-man advantage. Eight minutes later, Selanne, making his return after missing the last two games, scored his 20th of the season.

The comeback was complete when Marchant roofed a shot over a sprawling Hasek midway through the period.

"It wasn't the prettiest (win), but we did a lot of good things," said Selanne. "Even when they were up two goals we never gave up."

The Senators had no explanation for their lacklustre effort, but were willing to admit to their mistakes.

With the loss the Senators wrapped up their season against Western Conference opponents finishing the year 5-3-2. The Ducks are 4-2-3 against the East with one game remaining.

"We started off not too bad and then we started playing by ourselves and not supporting each other," said Alfredsson. "We couldn't really find our game.

"They played good, but we couldn't even break out of our own end. We turned the puck over way too many times."

The game marked the return of Jason Spezza, who had missed 12 of the team's past 13 with a chest injury. Spezza played most of the game between Heatley and Chris Neil.

"It felt good to be back, but I felt a little rusty," admitted Spezza. "The chest felt fine."

The game was Murray's first against the Ducks since leaving as general manager to take over coaching duties in Ottawa.

Notes: The Mighty Ducks are 0-5 in overtime and 2-4 in shootouts. .B .B . Eaves has three goals in two games. .B .B . Ottawa, which has 19 home games remaining, tied a franchise record with its 18th sellout of the season. .B .B . The Senators have scored an NHL-leading 13 short-handed goals, one more than Toronto.


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