Senators
Maple Leafs
4 - 3 Final - OT
  for this game

Heatley's goals lead Senators past Maple Leafs

Oct 4, 2007 - 6:27 AM
TORONTO (Ticker) -- Dany Heatley already is proving he is worth the money.

After signing a reported six-year, $45 million contract earlier in the day, Heatley tied the game late in the third period and netted the winner in overtime as the Ottawa Senators edged the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-3, on Wednesday in the season opener for both clubs.

With one year remaining on his current contract, Heatley had been adamant on not negotiating a new deal during the season. The 26-year-old and the Senators took care of business Wednesday afternoon, agreeing to terms on a contract that is expected to pay Heatley an average of $7.5 million per season.

"I wanted to stay here all along, so I'm happy that we got a deal done," Heatley said. "We had to agree on a contract, but I didn't have a plan one way or another. I preferred to stay here, and I'm happy I did."

The 2002 Calder Trophy winner got back to business on the ice against the Maple Leafs, erasing a 3-2 deficit late in the third period before tallying at 2:57 of the extra session to give the Senators their third straight season-opening victory at the Air Canada Centre.

"We stayed in the game as long as we could and we were confident that we could go into the final period and get the win," Heatley said.

After dishing to Mike Fisher, Heatley received a return pass in the slot and snapped a shot between the pads of goaltender Andrew Raycroft with Chad Kilger draped all over him, improving Ottawa to 13-2-2 in its last 17 meetings with Toronto.

"I didn't see anything on that last goal," said Heatley, who is coming off back-to-back 50-goal seasons. "I just tried to get it away as quick as I could, and it went in. Fisher made a great play."

"When it's back and forth like that, it's anyone's game," said Raycroft, who made 26 saves. "We are up and down like anybody. Tonight, we deserved to win and played well enough to win."

Antoine Vermette got an eventful opening period started at 7:23, carrying the puck down the slot and moving to the left of defenseman Tomas Kaberle before beating Raycroft to the glove side with a quick wrist shot.

Toronto evened it up just over three minutes later as Nik Antropov scored a fluke goal with 9:21 remaining in the session. Attempting to feed captain Mats Sundin from below the left faceoff circle, Antropov fired the puck into the crease, where it caromed off the left skate of defenseman Chris Phillips and past netminder Martin Gerber.

Antropov put the Maple Leafs ahead just 3:20 later, grabbing the puck in the right circle and moving to the slot before wristing it by Gerber for a 2-1 edge.

"It was a nice start for me, but I would have rather had the two points," said Antropov, who was playing on a line with Sundin and newcomer Jason Blake. "It was our third game together, so our line is just trying to get used to each other and see one another out there. We'll see what happens."

The lead lasted a mere 40 seconds, however, as the Senators' high-powered No. 1 line struck for the equalizer.

Despite preseason rumors that the unit would be split up in order to spread out the scoring, Heatley and Jason Spezza once again were teamed up with captain Daniel Alfredsson. The decision to keep the trio together early paid off when Alfredsson received a pass from Heatley in the high slot and beat Raycroft to the stick side with a wrister from the upper portion of the right circle at 14:39, forging a 2-2 tie.

"I'm very happy, extremely happy with the way we played the third period," Alfredsson said of his line remaining together. "We came up with a great effort there to get a chance to win the game. I'm happy that Dany is staying in Ottawa for a long time, and I'm sure the people of Ottawa are as well."

Spezza also assisted on the tally.

Both teams had chances to snap the deadlock in the first half of the second period but failed. Chris Kelly was denied by Raycroft on a breakaway with 14 minutes remaining, while Gerber watched the puck carom off the right goalpost after Sundin lost control with 9 1/2 minutes to go.

Matt Stajan came through for Toronto at 15:43, picking up the puck at the right point and moving to the top of the slot before blasting a shot that beat Gerber to the glove side. But Heatley knotted the contest with 5:36 to go in the third, snapping the puck past Raycroft on the short side from the left circle.

Starting in place of the injured Ray Emery, Gerber made 26 saves for Ottawa, which went a perfect 7-0-0 during the preseason.

"It was big for us to get the tie and go to OT," Gerber said. "Toronto played a really good game and made my life pretty tough. To finish it off in OT was huge. It's great for everyone to get a win on the road, and for me, it's great for my confidence to start the season.

Sundin and defenseman Andrew Wozniewski each recorded two assists for the Maple Leafs, who won their final nine home games last season.






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    Senators 4, Maple Leafs 3  Final - OTMar 4 8:31 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL IN OT 1ST 2ND 3RD OT TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 2 0 1 1 4
    TORONTO 2 1 0 0 3 FINAL IN OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:23
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 1 (JASON BLAKE, MATS SUNDIN) 10:39
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 2 (MATS SUNDIN, ANDY WOZNIEWSKI) 13:59
    OTT - DANIEL ALFRE

    Oct 3 10:12 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 4
    TORONTO 3
    OT: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 2 (MIKE FISHER) 2:57

    Oct 3 10:11 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 4
    TORONTO 3
    OT: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 2 (MIKE FISHER) 2:57

    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 10:11 PM
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  • NHL
    END OF THE 3RD GOING INTO OT
    1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 2 0 1 3
    TORONTO 2 1 0 3 GOING INTO OT
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:23
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 1 (JASON BLAKE, MATS SUNDIN) 10:39
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 2 (MATS SUNDIN, ANDY WOZNIEWSKI) 13:59
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 1 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON

    Oct 3 10:06 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 3
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: OTT - DANY HEATLEY 1 (ANDREJ MESZAROS, CHRIS PHILLIPS) 14:24

    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 9:57 PM
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    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 9:57 PM
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    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 9:24 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 2 0 2
    TORONTO 2 1 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:23
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 1 (JASON BLAKE, MATS SUNDIN) 10:39
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 2 (MATS SUNDIN, ANDY WOZNIEWSKI) 13:59
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 1 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SP

    Oct 3 9:16 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    TORONTO 3
    2ND PRD: TOR - MATT STAJAN 1 (HAL GILL, ANDY WOZNIEWSKI) 15:44

    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 2 2
    TORONTO 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:23
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 1 (JASON BLAKE, MATS SUNDIN) 10:39
    TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 2 (MATS SUNDIN, ANDY WOZNIEWSKI) 13:59
    OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 1 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SP

    Oct 3 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    TORONTO 2
    1ST PRD: OTT - DANIEL ALFREDSSON 1 (DANY HEATLEY, JASON SPEZZA) 14:39

    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    TORONTO 2
    1ST PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 2 (MATS SUNDIN, ANDY WOZNIEWSKI) 13:59

    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 8:10 PM
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  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - NIK ANTROPOV 1 (JASON BLAKE, MATS SUNDIN) 10:39

    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 8:05 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    TORONTO 0
    1ST PRD: OTT - ANTOINE VERMETTE 1 (UNASSISTED) 7:23

    Senators vs. Maple LeafsOct 3 7:57 PM