Final

Series (Game 1 of 1)

Ottawa leads 1-0

Game 1: Thursday, March 18th
Avalanche0Final
Senators2

Avalanche 0

(38-19-5, 93 pts)

Senators 2

(39-21-5, 92 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 18, 2004

Canadian Tire Centre, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
COL 0 0 00
OTT 2 0 02

P. Lalime (Senators - G): Saves: 23, Save Pct.: 1.000

W. Redden (Senators - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

D. Aebischer (Avalanche - G): Saves: 33, Save Pct.: .943

Lalime stops 24 shots

OTTAWA (AP) -- The Ottawa Senators made the most of one of their rare home games in March.

Peter Schaefer and Wade Redden scored first-period goals and Patrick Lalime made 23 saves for his first shutout in over two months to lead Ottawa to a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.

The Senators, who had lost two in a row to end a 2-3 trip, extended their home point streak to 22 games in the second of just three games at the Corel Centre this month.

"It's probably a confidence thing," Schaefer said of the team's home success. "We got home after a long road trip, got some rest, and I think that's a big key, mentally and physically."

Schaefer scored on a power play 12:31 in, and Redden beat goalie David Aebischer 59 seconds later to put Ottawa up by two at 13:30.

Lalime, beaten for five goals on 22 shots in a 5-2 loss Tuesday at Minnesota, recorded his fourth shutout of the season -- his first since Jan. 13.

"There were a lot of positives tonight," Lalime said. "We came out of the gate the way we wanted to and everybody gave a good effort."

The Senators haven't lost in regulation at home (17-3-2) since a defeat against Boston on Dec. 13.

"It was a big win for us," Redden said. "Obviously it was something to build on and we need much of the same. Everyone was going and playing hard, and we need that every night."

Ottawa is tied with Toronto with 92 points, one behind Northeast Division-leading Boston.

Colorado, which leads the Northwest Division and is second overall in the Western Conference, lost its second straight following a four-game winning streak.

"It's really tight in our conference and in their conference, so we knew it was a big game for both teams," Schaefer said.

The Avalanche, who lost 4-2 in Montreal on Tuesday, dropped just four of 36 road games through regulation before this three-game Canadian trip that concludes Saturday in Toronto.

"We didn't play a bad game in Montreal, but tonight we weren't very sharp and they played pretty well, obviously," Avalanche captain Joe Sakic said. "It's a tough team to come back on when they're up 2-0. They play a solid game."

The Senators converted their only power-play opportunity of the opening period after defenseman Rob Blake was penalized for playing the puck with a broken stick midway through the first.

With eight seconds remaining in the ensuing power play, Schaefer scored his 15th goal when Greg de Vries' point shot off a faceoff in the Avalanche zone deflected to him off the leg of Senators forward Chris Neil.

Redden scored his 16th just under a minute later when he jumped on a rebound of Jason Spezza's shot and caught Aebischer out of position to score into an open left side.

Rarely tested through the first two periods, when Ottawa held a 23-15 shots advantage, Lalime came up with a pair of big saves while the Senators were short-handed in the third.

Lalime stopped Sakic while Colorado enjoyed a five-on-three advantage for 54 seconds after Redden was sent off at 7:23 with Radek Bonk already in the penalty box.

Bonk had just returned to the ice when Lalime stuck out his right pad to deny Milan Hejduk's shot and rob the Avalanche of their best scoring chance.

"I was just trying to shoot for the far side with a little backhand, and Lalime was there," Hejduk said. "It was a pretty good save."

Game notes


Aebischer made 33 saves. ... Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson missed his second straight game because of a charley horse. He is day-to-day. ... Lalime has 32 career shutouts. ... Senators backup G Martin Prusek didn't dress because of a sore back. G Ray Emery was recalled from Binghamton of the AHL on an emergency basis and served as the backup.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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