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Senators try to break out of early season doldrums

Oct 19, 2006 - 1:12 PM Colorado (2-2-0) at Ottawa (2-3-0) 7:30 pm EDT

OTTAWA (Ticker) - So far, the Ottawa Senators have not nearly resembled the powerhouse club they were last season, when they posted the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Losers of three of their last four games, the Senators hope to get in gear when they host the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.

One reason Ottawa is struggling is a weak power play. The Senators are a shocking 1-for-30 with the extra skater this season.

Ottawa had lost three straight before posting a 3-2 shootout victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday. Two unlikely sources - Antoine Vermette and Mike Fisher - scored in the shootout for Ottawa while Denis Hamel and Chris Kelly scored their first goals of the season in regulation.

Goaltender Ray Emery stopped 23 shots in the victory, and his 1.67 goals-against average is third best in the league.

Colorado got its three-game Eastern road trip off to a good start with a 4-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday. John-Michael Liles led Colorado with two goals while backup netminder Peter Budaj made 27 saves.

Defenseman Karlis Skrastins' streak of 439 consecutive games played is the longest active streak in the NHL. He is 47 games shy of Tim Horton's NHL record for consecutive games played by a defenseman, set between 1961-68 while with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

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