Wolski lifts Avalanche past Senators in overtime

DENVER (Ticker) — The Ottawa Senators’ five-game road trip
ended much differently than it began.

Wojtek Wolski scored 80 seconds into overtime, lifting the
Colorado Avalanche to a 3-2 victory over the suddenly surging
Senators on Tuesday.

Ian Laperriere and Ryan Smyth each tallied in regulation for the
Avalanche, who have won two in a row after dropping four
straight. They embark on a six-game stretch away from home,
beginning Friday at Washington.

“Every game is important,” Wolski said. “We should have won a
lot more games at home lately. Maybe we do need a little change
of scenery.”

Ryan Shannon netted a pair of goals for Ottawa, which suffered
the first setback of its trek and saw its season-high five-game
winning streak came to an end.

“We would have liked to have the two (points) tonight, but
coming off a tough back-to-back, to get nine of 10 and get a
point tonight was big for us,” Senators All-Star Dany Heatley

Ottawa entered 5-1-1 since Cory Clouston replaced Craig
Hartsburg as coach, but was not able to punctuate a perfect
five-game road swing for the first time in franchise history.

“If somebody had said we were going to take nine of 10 points,
we would have taken it,” Clouston said. “Obviously, we’re
disappointed in the loss. Our guys dug deep, we just weren’t
sharp tonight.”

Colorado, however, continued its recovery from a previous skid
as Wolski collected his own rebound from the right faceoff
circle and fired a slap shot past Alex Auld to secure the win.

“(Wolski is) a guy who we need to score big goals,” Avalanche
coach Tony Granato said. “Those are the situations where he
going to have an opportunity to make big plays. Fortunately, he
did for us.”

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Shannon opened the scoring 30 seconds into the first period,
unleashing a wrist shot from the low slot that went by Andrew
Raycroft for his first tally of the contest. But Laperriere
forged a tie with 2:55 remaining in the session by tipping in
Cody McCormick’s initial shot.

“These points are important. They came in 5-0 in their last
five games and we had to be ready, and we were,” Laperriere
said. “(We’ll take it) game-by-game. Simple game, simple road
game. You go up there and don’t try to be fancy or anything.
Just play a north-south game and that’s the plan. Go
game-by-game and we’ll see where it takes us.”

Smyth staked Colorado to another one-goal lead 73 seconds into
the second, but Ottawa clawed its way back once again when
Shannon struck again 3 1/2 minutes later with a slap shot from
the blue line.

“They’re a good team,” Wolski said. “They have some talented
players and some quick guys up front. It’s hard to play against
them but I think we’ve done pretty well in overtime and
shootouts, so we don’t mind hanging on and taking it into

Raycroft finished with 20 saves, while Auld stopped 27 shots in
his third straight start over rookie Brian Elliott.

“It’s tough to lose it like that, but you have to give the
opposition some credit,” Clouston said. “I thought Colorado
came hard. They knew we were going to be a tired team and they
wanted to put a lot of pressure on us. They did a good job of