Home sweet home

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 8:41 AM ET

Next to winning the Stanley Cup, Steve Duchesne remembers it as the moment of his hockey life.

Duchesne's goal on April 12, 1997 -- the lone goal in a 1-0 win over the visiting Buffalo Sabres on the last night of the NHL's regular season -- put the Senators into the playoffs for the first time.

It ranks as one of the top moments in the building that today celebrates its 10th anniversary of playing host to NHL hockey.

"At that time, it felt like we won the Stanley Cup," Duchesne recalled. "We didn't know what (winning the Cup) was like, but we were so happy.

"If you look at where we came from, the old building, losing all the time, from such a low to such a high, it's something you never forget.

"I remember hugging those guys ... there might have been a kiss. I had to change roommates after that," he joked.

Duchesne also scored the first Senators goal in what was then the Palladium, against the Chicago Blackhawks. That was in the second game played there. The Senators were shut out in the opener, 3-0 by Montreal, 10 years ago today.

Duchesne, who went on to win a Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2002, is retired and living with his family in the Dallas area.

He scored the goal that put Ottawa in the playoffs against current Senators goalie Dominik Hasek and went on to win his Cup with Hasek in goal. He still follows the Senators closely.

PRAISES SENS

"Absolutely. Having played with them and Dom, too, I watch them," he said. "If Dom plays as well as he did in Detroit, I don't see a team being able to stop them.

"It's so good to see the guys I played with, who have been down so low, doing well. I hope they win the Cup so they can experience the feeling I had in Detroit."


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