Lalime Blanks Islanders as Ottawa Evens Series
Patrick Lalime made 16 saves for his fifth career playoff shutout and Marian Hossa scored twice, as Ottawa posted a 3-0 victory over the New York Islanders to even the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at one game apiece.
The teams traded shutouts in the first two games at the Corel Centre, as the Islanders notched a 3-0 win in Game 1, and will head to New York for Game 3 on Monday.
"We were outplayed," said Islanders head coach Peter Laviolette. "We'll move on. We grabbed home-ice advantage and we look forward to going home to our fans. It's been a good place for us in the playoffs. I think we got a good dose of Ottawa tonight."
Vaclav Varada also scored for the Senators, who came out with much more fire than in Game 1 and outshot the Islanders 34-16.
Garth Snow, who made 25 saves in Wednesday's Game 1 shutout, was lifted early in the third period and stopped 28 shots. Rick DiPietro, the first overall pick of the 2000 draft, saw his first-ever playoff action and turned aside all three shots he faced.
"They did to us what we did to them in Game 1," said Snow. "They showed character in coming back the way they did tonight."
Lalime reverted to his first-round form of a year ago when he posted three shutouts against Philadelphia. On Saturday, he turned aside just five shots in each of the opening two periods and six in the third.
"The whole team played well, defensively, coming back and cutting back on chances," said Lalime. "I think that was difference in the game."
Hossa ended Snow's scoreless streak and gave the Senators a 1-0 lead just 6:43 into the game with his sixth career playoff goal. Bryan Smolinski chased down the puck along the right wing boards and fed a pass toward the top of the crease for a streaking Hossa, who deflected it past Snow.
"I saw Bryan open on the right side and had good speed, so I just tried to drive to the net," Hossa said. "It was an excellent pass from him and somehow it went in."
Varada made it 2-0 just 1:41 later. Martin Havlat snapped a shot from the top of the left circle and Snow got his glove on the end-over-end puck but could not control it. Varada swept in and backhanded the rebound through the netminder's pads for his ninth career post-season goal.
The Islanders mustered just five shots against Lalime in the first period, then nearly got one back early in the second when Janne Niinimaa rang a shot from the right circle off the post.
Again New York managed only five shots on goal in the second and Ottawa countered with 16, but the Senators needed a 5-on-3 power play to beat Snow again.
Wade Redden sent a pass from the right point to Hossa in the low right circle. Hossa then directed a shot toward the net and the puck deflected off the skate of New York defenseman Roman Hamrlik before going through Snow's legs.
Play got chippy early in the third period when New York's Jason Wiemer was whistled for a board check and given a game misconduct for head-butting. It resulted in a seven-minute power play for Ottawa.
New York's Eric Cairns and Ottawa's Chris Neil were also given roughing minors at the 4:57 mark and the two went at it again, this time with their fists, in the final minute.
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