Series (Game 3 of 4)

Series tied 2-2

Game 1: Saturday, November 19th
Game 2: Wednesday, February 1st
Game 3: Sunday, March 19th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 28th

Senators 4

(46-15-6, 98 pts)

Devils 0

(34-25-8, 76 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 19, 2006

IZOD Center, East Rutherford, New Jersey

1 2 3 T
OTT 0 3 14
NJ 0 0 00

D. Heatley (Senators - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

R. Emery (Senators - G): Saves: 22, Save Pct.: 1.000

A. Vermette (Senators - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Surging Sens win 10th of 12 as rookie Emery saves 22

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) -- Rookie goalie Ray Emery isn't playing like an inexperienced youngster with the Ottawa Senators.

Dany Heatley's power-play tally keyed a three-goal second period, and Emery made 22 saves in the Senators' 4-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on Sunday night. Ottawa also got goals from Patrick Eaves, Antoine Vermette and Zdeno Chara.

The surging Senators have 10 wins in 12 games, and their 98 points puts them five points ahead of the Buffalo Sabres in the Northeast Division. They also moved two points ahead of the Southeast Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes in the Eastern Conference standings.

Emery continued his solid play as Ottawa's top netminder while Dominik Hasek recovers from a groin injury sustained last month in the Olympics. The rookie is 9-1-1 since the Olympic break.

"He's a very challenging guy who is very athletic," Chara said. "He grabbed his opportunity. Dominik is out and he's obviously now our No. 1 goalie. Ray is going to get a lot of games and he's going to feel confident going into the playoffs."

Emery is enjoying the spotlight and the pressure of trying to win the conference title.

"We're in a battle with Buffalo for the top spot in the division and with Carolina for top spot in the conference," Emery said. "It's an exciting time of the year. With those teams not slipping up very much, we can't afford to either. We've been playing really solid since the break and I thought we were really patient tonight."

That patient play frustrated the Devils, who are struggling to get points and goals. New Jersey has dropped three of its last four, scoring only six goals in that span. The Devils failed to cash in on four power-play chances against Ottawa and are 0-for-18 on the power play over the last four games.

"He certainly did play well," Devils coach Lou Lamoriello said of Emery. "I thought we made him look good at times by not being sharp. Take nothing away from him. That's an excellent hockey team we played tonight."

The Devils' top line of Patrik Elias, Scott Gomez and Brian Gionta had a frustrating night. They combined for 13 of the Devils' 22 shots with Elias getting eight.

"Our line has to score," Gomez said. "We'll take some of the blame, in fact most of it. As a line, we're getting opportunities. We need to score."

The Devils and the Tampa Bay Lightning, who beat the New York Islanders 5-2 on Sunday, each have 76 points and are tied for sixth place in the East.

After a scoreless first period, Heatley gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead at 4:08 of the second. Heatley carried the puck into the Devils' zone and fed a cross-ice pass to Daniel Alfredsson. The return pass glanced off New Jersey defenseman Colin White and went right to Heatley for his team-leading 39th goal.

Eaves also scored on the power play when he deflected Andrej Meszaros' point shot past Martin Brodeur at 13:42.

Vermette made it 3-0 with 20 seconds left.

In the third, Emery made six saves to preserve his third shutout. The key stop came against Elias who split the Ottawa defense for a dead-on shot with 2:25 remaining.

Chara closed out the scoring with a 5-on-3 goal with 55 seconds left.

Game notes

Devils RW Viktor Kozlov was a healthy scratch for a second straight game. ... Senators C Mike Fisher missed his second consecutive because of a sprained right ankle. ... Emery is unbeaten in two starts against the Devils.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press