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Lalime shuts out Montreal

3/25/2004

MONTREAL (AP) -- Daniel Alfredsson has had a lot of fun at the
Montreal Canadiens' expense.

Alfredsson scored his 30th and 31st goals and added an assist,
and Patrick Lalime made 29 saves in the Ottawa Senators' 4-0
victory over Montreal 4-0 on Thursday night.

"Tonight, I was able to get in the right place at the right
time," Alfredsson said.

Montreal, 2-1 losers in Buffalo on Wednesday night, failed for
the second straight game to earn the single point it needs to
clinch a playoff spot.

Alfredsson had 13 points in six games against Montreal this
season to help Ottawa take the season series 4-2. The Ottawa
captain also matched his career high of 78 points set last season.

"I don't know why it is," Alfredsson said. "A lot of the
points came on the power play and our power play has been good
against them all season."

Brian Smolinski and Jason Spezza also scored for Ottawa, fifth
in the Eastern Conference. Lalime has five shutouts this season and
the 33 in his NHL career.

"Lalime made the difference early in the game," Montreal coach
Claude Julien said. "I thought we came out well and if we'd been
more opportunistic early, it might have been a different game.

"But you have to respect their offense. The slightest little
error went in our net."

Montreal's Jose Theodore faced 31 shots, including a stop on a
penalty shot at 16:14 of the second period by Peter Bondra, who had
been hooked from behind by Francis Bouillon on a breakaway.

Bondra, who had two assists, was held without a goal for a ninth
straight game.<

"I'm looking for the keys -- can you find the keys for my
hands?" Bondra joked. "The chances are there.

"Hopefully, it will come at the right time. As an offensive
player, you're really pressing even if you don't want to admit it.
You have to shoot the puck and not worry too much about it."

Game notes
Montreal defenseman Sheldon Souray did not play. He left
the game Wednesday night after a check to the shoulder. ... Ottawa
backup goalie Martin Prusek returned from back spasms, but did not
play.