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Cup champions' slump deepens

1/14/2004

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- The crowd booed the New Jersey Devils in the second period and left halfway through the third.

The Ottawa Senators didn't just beat the slumping Stanley Cup
champions 4-0 Tuesday night, they embarrassed them.

"It was one of those things," said Senators goalie Patrick
Lalime, who faced only eight shots in the first two periods. "We
played great. We didn't give them much. They had a couple of
chances right off the bat, and then we shut them down"

Marian Hossa scored twice, Bryan Smolinski and Josh Langfeld
added goals, and Radek Bonk and Martin Havlat had two assists
apiece for the Senators, who have lost only once in their last 14
games (10-1-3).

Lalime made 26 saves for his third shutout of the season and the
31st of his career.

The win was the Senators' first in three games this season
against the Devils.

"It's a good feeling," Ottawa defenseman Wade Redden said.
"We had a few tough bouts against them earlier this season, but we
learned from those. We were patient and limited their chances."

The first two games between the teams, which met in the Eastern
Conference final last year, were thrilling, with New Jersey winning
1-0 and 2-1.

This one was no contest. The 11,456 were so frustrated with the
Devils after Hossa stretched the Senators' lead to 3-0 late in the
second period that they booed loudly. The crowd was walking out
midway through the third period.

Devils goalie Martin Brodeur didn't have a chance on any of the
Ottawa goals. The first three came on an odd-man rush.

"They are a talented team," Brodeur said. "The way we've had
success is to always play them solid and play them tough. They have
been playing well, but today, we didn't show up enough to win this
hockey game."

Hossa gave the Senators the lead at 8:04 of the first period
with his 21st goal of the season. Bonk made a nice pass from the
sideboards to Petr Schastlivy, setting up a two-on-one that Hossa
finished.

The Senators put the game away late in the second period when
Smolinski and Hossa scored 73 seconds apart.

Defenseman Shane Hnidy made a long pass from his own zone to set
up a good chance by Havlat. Brodeur made the save, but his
teammates stood around as Jason Spezza got the puck and found
Smolinski coming down the middle for his 11th goal.

Hossa scored his second goal into basically an empty net on a
power play. Havlat took a pass from Bonk to the left of Brodeur and
sent a cross-ice pass that found Hossa alone on the doorstep.

"Against this team, you don't expect to score four goals,"
Hossa said. "We played a solid road game."

Langfeld scored his first career goal with 3:52 to play.

Lalime only had to make one good save in the first two periods,
stopping a shot by Turner Stevenson in the second. Lalime was
outstanding in the third, when New Jersey outshot Ottawa 18-6.

Devils captain Scott Stevens missed his third straight game
because of the flu.

Game notes
Hossa has a five-game point streak (six goals, three
assists). ... The Senators have allowed three or fewer goals in 24
straight games. ... New Jersey is 2-5-1 in its last eight games.
... The Devils were shut out at home for the first time since
Lalime blanked them 2-0 on Dec. 18, 2002.