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Ottawa's Ray Emery makes 18 saves to post 2-0 shutout over Islanders

The Hockey News

The Hockey News

Behind goals from Mike Fisher and Chris Kelly and a stingy performance from Emery and their defence, the Senators went on to record a 2-0 shutout over a team that hadn't allowed an opponent to score in its last two games and three of its last four contests.

"We did a great job defensively and really shut'em down for the most part," said Emery, who needed to make just 18 saves on the night and recorded his second shutout of the season and the fifth of his career.

Meanwhile, DiPietro's shutout streak ended at 156 minutes 30 seconds on Fisher's first-period goal before Kelly added a power-play goal late and the Senators (19-18-1) held on to win for the second game in a row.

"We played a good team," DiPietro said. "I can tell you honestly I didn't pay any attention to the shutout streak (but) we came out on the wrong end."

The victory, before a sellout crowd of 20,192 at Scotiabank Place - the most ever to watch a hockey game at the building, was just Ottawa's seventh of the season on home ice in 16 outings.

It came at a time when coach Bryan Murray has been harping on his team to cut down its goals against after allowing 38 over the past nine games. Not surprisingly, the Senators had gone 3-6 over that stretch.

"It's good that we realize that sometimes you have to win those games 1-0, 2-0," Emery said. "We did a good job dumping pucks and making plays, not necessarily trying to add to our lead, just trying to play mistake-free hockey and it worked out for us."

The Senators suffered a setback when Fisher left the game late with an upper-body injury. Ottawa is already without Jason Spezza (knee) and Fisher was filling in between Daniel Alfredsson and Dany Heatley on the team's No. 1 line. Fisher's status was not immediately known.

For the Islanders (19-14-3), the defeat stopped a two-game win streak and was only their second in the previous six games.

The Senators have dominated the Islanders over the years. Since Feb. 12, 1996, Ottawa has lost just four of 40 regular-season games between the teams, going 28-4-8-0 over that span.

They tightened things up Wednesday, holding New York to just three first-period shots and five in the third.

Alexei Yashin, still a target of boos from Senators fans every time he touched the puck, failed to record a point for the first time in six games.

"Overall, it was just effort from everybody. When you have that, good things happen," said Alfredsson, who assisted on both Ottawa goals. "We did a good job of having two or three guys back all the time."

DiPietro came into the game having posted back-to-back shutouts, including a 2-0 victory over the New York Rangers one night earlier, and had held the opposition goal-less in three of the Islanders' past four games.

The Senators caught a break when Alfredsson tried to set up Heatley in the slot only for his pass to deflect off of a sliding Sean Hill and wind up on Fisher's stick at the side of the net for an easy tap-in with less than two minutes to play in the first, ending DiPietro's run.

"Sean Hill did a great job of denying the pass. Unfortunately, Fish was on the end," DiPietro said.

Down a goal with 7½ minutes remaining in regulation, New York self-destructed when Richard Park and Alexei Yashin took tripping and hooking minors, respectively, on the same play. Islanders coach Ted Nolan then took a third penalty - a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct.

"(The referee) asked me what I said - I told him (it was) a (bad) call," Nolan explained afterward.

The Islanders had one second left to kill when Kelly scored on a redirection with 3:31 to play.

Ottawa went 1-for-5 on the power play; New York was 0-for-1.

"It was unfortunate," DiPietro said. "Down one goal with five minutes left, they called two penalties on one shift. It was a tough pill to swallow, but they've got to do what they've got to do."

Notes:Senators centre Jason Spezza missed his second game in a row with a knee injury. . . . Islanders defenceman Freddy Meyer missed his sixth straight game with a lower-back injury. He hasn't played since being acquired from Philadelphia on Dec. 16. . . . Ottawa plays host to the Rangers on Friday. . . . The Islanders are at New Jersey on Saturday.



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