Senators run out of gas

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 8:52 AM ET

DENVER -- Almost perfect.

But the Senators just came up short as winger Wojtek Wolski scored at 1:20 of OT to give the Avalanche a 3-2 victory over Ottawa at the Pepsi Center as the Senators wrapped a five-game, seven-day road trip with nine of a possible 10 points.

Binghamton callup Ryan Shannon scored twice for the Senators and Alex Auld made 24 saves as Ottawa came up just short of sweeping a five-game road trip for the first time in team history. The loss also halted a five-game winning streak.

CAPTAIN NEEDS X-RAYS

There was a scare in the third when captain Daniel Alfredsson left the bench after taking a deflected shot from Dany Heatley to the head. However, Alfredsson returned to the bench late in the third and was able to finish the game.

Alfredsson had an X-ray taken of his jaw.

"Hopefully, everything is fine," he said.

Auld, making his second straight start ahead of rookie Brian Elliott after earning a 2-0 shutout victory Monday over the Predators, had to stand tall as the Avs had some good opportunities. He stopped Ryan Smyth in alone to open the third period.

With five minutes left in the second period with the score tied 2-2 and the club running out of gas, Clouston took a timeout to give everybody a rest and try to recharge the batteries. Auld had to come up with big stops because the Avs were using their speed.

Smyth gave Colorado a 2-1 lead with his 19th of the season only 1:13 into the second when he caught Filip Kuba out of position and beat Auld on the stick side with a wrist shot from in front.

But the Senators pushed right back. Shannon, called up from the Baby Sens on Feb. 5, scored his second of the game at 4:45 on a shot from the top of the circle that beat Colorado goalie Andrew Raycroft high on the stick side.

"(Shannon's) a very intelligent player. He's very tenacious and he thinks the game very well," said Clouston. "He's a confident guy. He's been in this league before and he's won a Stanley Cup (with Anaheim in 2007). He knows what it takes to be successful at this level. He's hungry. He doesn't want to lose this opportunity."

The Senators looked like they were going to escape the first with a 1-0 lead, but Ian Laperriere tipped home Cody McCormick's point shot by Auld at 17:05 to tie it 1-1. That goal halted a shutout string of 146:21 that Auld had compiled in his last four appearances.

Shannon opened the scoring on the first shot of the game. He fired a shot from a bad angle that appeared to catch Raycroft off guard and beat him through the five-hole only 30 seconds into the first.

The Senators flew home immediately after last night's game. With the Canucks at Scotiabank Place tomorrow, Ottawa will start a stretch that will see the club play nine of its next 10 games at home.


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