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Senators Squeak By Blues

The Ottawa Senators had one shot in the third period, and they didn't waste it.

The Eastern Conference leaders had nothing before Shawn McEachern's 30th goal snapped a tie at 11:45, and nothing after it. But one was enough for a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Saturday night.

"You look up on the board and you can see that you don't have a shot yet," McEachern said. "But we got the one that went in, so that's all that counts."

The Senators were on the wrong end of a 10-0 shot count when McEachern beat Grant Fuhr on an odd-man rush from the right circle at 11:45. The final third-period count was 11-1 for the Blues, who had a 22-15 advantage overall.

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  • "It's a good shooting percentage, I guess," McEachern said. "I just tried to go high on Fuhr, because we beat him there before."

    After all of that inactivity, Fuhr said it was tough to stay sharp.

    "There's easier ways of playing, but you still have to make that one save," Fuhr said. "That's what you're paid to do and that's what you have to do. We played well enough that we should have gotten a minimum of one point out of it."

    Defenseman Chris Pronger wasn't so sure, nothing that the Blues didn't have much to show for their first two periods.

    "It's a 60-minute game and there's two other periods we had to play, and we didn't do anything," Pronger said.

    Andreas Johansson and Magnus Arvedson also scored for Ottawa, which won at league-leading Dallas on Friday and is 2-0-1 in the last three games.

    "We had a very emotional game last night in Dallas," coach Jacques Martin said. "Playing back-to-back, they are a good club."

    Pavol Demitra scored his 33rd and 34th for the Blues, who lost for the first time in five games (3-1-1) before their 14th sellout crowd of 19,736. Demitra has seven goals and two assists during a five-game goal-scoring streak.

    "I don't think about it," Demitra said. "I would hope my goals would help us win more. We needed these two points."

    The Blues are 7-4-1 overall against the Senators, but have not beaten them at home since Oct. 9, 1993.

    Demitra's second goal from an almost impossible angle had tied it 2-2 at 8:37. Shooting from the red line, he banked the puck in off goalie Ron Tugnutt.

    The Senators scored on their first shot of the game, a slap shot from the right point by Johansson for his 20th goal at the two-minute mark. It was Johansson's first goal since Feb. 25.

    It was the first time in five games that the Senators scored first, but the lead lasted only 20 seconds as Demitra converted from the side of the net.

    Ottawa regained the lead at 1:33 of the second when Arvedson blocked a slap shot by Al MacInnis with his shin and ended up with a breakaway, scoring unassisted.

    Tugnutt had been 1-6-1 for his career against the Blues with a 4.35 goals-against average.

    "The third period, I think them being at home, they kind of picked it up a little bit," Tugnutt said. "We held them at bay for the most part."

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