Now that Felix Potvin is sidelined for six to eight weeks with a sprained ligament in his right knee, his backup got off to a great start in his place. Storr registered his 15th career shutout as the Kings beat the Ottawa Senators 3-0 Thursday night. Storr made 18 saves in his 11th start of the season -- one day after Potvin became the 17th different player this season to be placed on injured reserve by Los Angeles. "It's just awesome to get back in the net, regardless,'' Storr said. "Just to be part of it and have an opportunity to win is awesome. That's all you can ask for. I'm not looking too much into the future or back to the past. I'm just looking at what's next.'' Storr entered the game 0-5 since shutting out Dallas with 35 saves on Dec. 11. This was his first win at home since the final game of last season, when he beat Anaheim 1-0. The only other goalie to shut out the Eastern Conference-leading Senators this season was Jocelyn Thibault, who beat them 1-0 on Dec. 4 at Chicago. "Jamie came in and played great,'' Bryan Smolinski said. "They got only 18 shots, but they were good shots and Jamie made quality saves. That's what we expect out of Jamie and that's what he expects out of himself.'' Ziggy Palffy scored twice in the third period and Smolinski snapped a scoreless tie early in the second period with his 200th career goal. The victory made the Kings 4-0-1 in their last five games against the Senators. The Senators, who trail Dallas by a point in the race for the best overall record, are 2-4-1 in their last seven after going 25-5-4 in their previous 34 games. They lost three straight earlier this season but haven't dropped four straight since Oct. 16-23, 2001. "We're a tired hockey club,'' Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "We're making it hard for ourselves out there, and we've got to use this break to regroup and recharge our batteries.'' Senators right wing Marian Hossa, second in the NHL with a career-high 33 goals, will take a season-worst five-game goal drought into the All-Star break. He had scored 12 goals in his previous 11 games. "It's probably just a reflection of this whole week,'' coach Jacques Martin said. "We haven't mustered very much, but we just have to put it behind us and regroup. I think we're happy to see the break from the standpoint that we've played 31 games in 58 days.'' The loss was the first this season for Senators backup goalie Martin Prusek, who entered the game with a 9-0 record. In his only NHL game prior to this season, he lost 3-2 against Atlanta in overtime on March 23, 2002. After getting swept in a home-and-home set by San Jose, the Kings took the lead at 3:09 of the second period when Smolinski carried the puck through the neutral zone and beat Prusek between the legs with a slap shot from the top of the right circle for his ninth goal. Palffy made it 2-0 with 7:37 remaining, finishing off a two-on-one break after Steve Heinze faked a slap shot from the left circle. About 2½ minutes later, Palffy intercepted a cross-ice pass just inside his own blue line and beat Prusek on a breakaway for his 19th goal and sixth in seven games. Ottawa left wing Petr Schastlivy missed the game because of an injured right leg, after getting slashed by Matt Cullen during his second shift in Wednesday night's 3-2 loss at Anaheim. The Senators are 8-0 when Schastlivy scores a goal, and 14-5-1 in the 20 games he has missed because of injuries. Game notes
Storr's backup was Cristobal Huet, who was promoted from Manchester of the AHL on Wednesday. The Kings have gone through an entire season with just two goalies only three times since 1978-79. ...Thursday was Heinze's 33rd birthday. ... Kings C Jason Allison sat out both victories this season against Ottawa, this one with a hip flexor, the first one on Nov. 8 because of a sprained ligament in his right knee. ... The Kings' unbeaten streak against Ottawa began on Jan. 16, 2001, when the Kings overcame a 5-1 deficit and won 7-6 in overtime on Smolinski's third goal of the game. That was the last time a visiting player had a hat trick on the Senators' home ice.