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Neutral Zone

June 03, 2007|LONNIE WHITE

A fine line

* The Ducks' checking line may have dominated the first two games, but it was Ottawa's checkers that got the job done Saturday. With Chris Neil, Chris Kelly and Antoine Vermette setting the pace with hard hits throughout, the Senators were able to beat the Ducks at their game.


* The Ducks' No. 1 line received a boost with the return of Chris Kunitz, who joined Teemu Selanne and Andy McDonald and helped set up a first period power-play score by McDonald. But the rest of the game, the line struggled offensively and defensively. Selanne and McDonald each finished with a minus-two rating. It did not help that Kunitz played only two shifts after the first period because of another injury.

Save of the game

* With Ottawa leading, 4-3, and on a power play, goaltender Ray Emery kept them ahead when he stopped the Ducks' Todd Marchant on a short-handed breakaway. Emery made the initial stop and then batted the puck away from trouble with his stick.

Turning point

* Things did not look good for the Senators when they fell behind, 3-2, on a goal by the Ducks' Ryan Getzlaf at 7:38 of the second period. But Ottawa responded with Daniel Alfredsson's first goal of the finals when -- after a video judge review -- it was ruled that he did not kick the puck into the net. After having a wiped-out goal count, the Senators scored two more goals to win their first game of the series.

Three stars

* 1. Anton Volchenkov, Senators defenseman: Volchenkov was a dominant force all over the ice, finishing with a team-high five shots on goal, three hits and two blocked shots. He also scored a goal and had an assist.

* 2. Chris Neil, Senators forward: With the Senators looking to get physical, Neil not only led the way with five hits but he also scored Ottawa's first goal.

* 3. Dustin Penner, Ducks forward: Although Penner did not score a goal, he had two assists and was one of the few Ducks to play well. He had three shots on goal to go along with three hits.


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