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Canadian Press
12/29/2006 10:16:32 PM

OTTAWA (CP) - Someone must have given Ray Emery a force field for Christmas.

The 24-year old netminder made 27 saves for his third shutout of the season and sixth of his career Friday night as the Ottawa Senators defeated the New York Rangers 1-0.

Daniel Alfredsson scored the only goal of the game as the Senators (20-18-1) won their third straight in front of a record home crowd of 20,214 at Scotiabank Place. It was also Ottawa's second straight shutout over New York-based teams - the Senators blanked the Islanders 2-0 Wednesday night in front of 20,192, their previous attendance record.

Emery was in goal for both those games and has not allowed a goal in 141 minutes and 10 seconds.

"It's pretty cool," Emery said. "I've never done it in this league before and it's been a long time since I've done it at all. It definitely helps the stats out.

"If we put our minds to it and make a conscious effort to play well defensively, the guys have the ability to do it. It's been a bit of a humbling effect, but we realize that we have to play a really good defensive game to win."

The Rangers (18-17-4), who were shut out 2-0 by the Islanders on Tuesday, have lost seven straight games. That fact isn't sitting well with anyone, especially first-year Ranger Brendan Shanahan.

"It doesn't make you feel a whole lot better to say we're playing better," said Shanahan. "At this point I wouldn't care if we went out and played horrible and won.

"We're at the point where sick of it. Sick of hearing about it, sick of not getting results and it's not going to go away until we win."

It took just 32 seconds for the Senators to take the lead as Alfredsson tipped a Chris Phillips point shot for his 10th goal of the season. Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist got a piece of the re-direct but the puck slowly squeezed through his pads and across the goal line.

That was the only blemish of the night for Lundqvist, who kept things close in the first and third periods. He stopped Alfredsson on a breakaway in the first period and then got his glove down to snag Alfredsson's rebound attempt.

"My first shot I didn't get up enough and I get the puck right back and he makes an unbelievable save," said Alfredsson. "He kept them in the game and gave them a chance but Ray did him one better."

Lundqvist finished with 27 saves.

Emery was at his best in the second period when the Senators were outshot 14-7, and also the second half of the third period when the Rangers pressed hard for the tying goal.

"I thought we battled hard all night long, we got into some penalty trouble early but we did some good things and Ray played real well," said Alfredsson.

Some of that penalty trouble came in the form of a five-minute major to Chris Neil for charging when he left his feet while hitting Rangers sophomore Petr Prucha's head into the glass. Rangers coach Tom Renney was satisfied with the major but felt Neil deserved more.

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