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Lalime stops 24 shots

3/19/2004

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.