Snow earns first career playoff shutout

OTTAWA (AP) -- Very few people believed coach Peter Laviolette's

claim that the New York Islanders were better than the Ottawa


Garth Snow made 25 saves in earning his first playoff shutout.
Garth Snow made 25 saves in earning his first playoff shutout.

In the playoff series opener, his team proved him right.

Dave Scatchard, Alexei Yashin and Shawn Bates scored, and Garth

Snow earned his first career playoff shutout to lead New York to a

stunning 3-0 victory over the top-seeded Senators on Wednesday


One day after Laviolette proclaimed his eighth-place team was

superior than the Presidents' Trophy-winning Senators, the

Islanders backed him up.

"Our team on many occasions in big games has played big

games," Laviolette said.

Game 2 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday night in Ottawa.

Despite finishing 30 points behind the Senators who had 113, New

York got goals from Scatchard and Yashin in the first period. Bates

then scored midway through the second to knock Ottawa completely

off its game.

"We believe that you work for your breaks, and we were working

hard and rewarded for it," Islanders captain Mike Peca said.

Making his first playoff start in six years, Snow made a solid

save on Mike Fisher's backhand early in the game before Scatchard

gave the enthusiastic Corel Centre crowd an unexpected jolt.

Ottawa has a history of disappointing its fans in the playoffs.

Despite seven straight postseason appearances and three 100-point

seasons in five, the Senators have just two series wins and none

when they have home-ice advantage.

"We were too overanxious," Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson

said. "We were running around, trying to finish every check -- we

wanted to do too much."

The Senators, who scored a league-high 87 power-play goals this

season, failed to get a shot on their first man advantage when Wade

Redden was called for interference at 7:22.

With the teams skating 4-on-4, Scatchard banked a shot from

behind the goal line in the right corner off goalie Patrick

Lalime's pad and into the net to make it 1-0 at 7:59.

"It was just one of those goals," Lalime said. "I was there

and it just hit me right off my leg. What are you going to do?

Probably one in a hundred of those goes in. There's nothing you can


Yashin, the former Senators captain who was jeered whenever he

touched the puck, gave the Ottawa fans something new to boo about

at 11:35 when he scored his 10th career playoff goal.

"Yashin had a really strong game," Laviolette said. "He

played with a lot of conviction offensively and physically. It

inspired me."

Yashin gave the Islanders a 2-0 lead when he was left alone and

scored into an open left side just moments after the Senators

killed Peter Schaefer's penalty for punching Yashin.

"I feel great," Yashin said through a fat lip, caused by

Schaefer's punch. "To get a win in Ottawa, especially in the

playoffs, I beat one of the best teams in the league. But it's only

the start and we have to keep focusing on the game."

Outshot 15-6 in the first, Ottawa was rattled further when Bates

scored a power-play goal midway through the second to give the

Islanders a three-goal lead.

Bates deflected defenseman Adrian Aucoin's point shot past

Lalime at 9:06 to give the Islanders a three-goal lead.

The Senators didn't threaten the rest of the way as forward

Chris Neil drew the only cheer thereafter when he checked Yashin in

the third.

"It feels good to get the win, but we know that they'll be

coming out with their best game on Saturday night," Snow said.

Game notes

A couple of U.S. flags were displayed in the crowd during

the singing of ``The Star Spangled Banner.'' Both the American and

Canadian national anthems were cheered. ... New York was 21-8-7-1

when it scored the opening goal during the regular season. ... Snow

is 9-4 in the playoffs. ... Ottawa was 6-6-1-1 when trailing after

the first this season, and 3-18 when trailing through two periods.