for this game

Senators dominate Maple Leafs for eighth straight win

Nov 7, 2007 - 4:51 AM
By Mark Robinson PA SportsTicker Contributing Writer

OTTAWA (Ticker) -- On paper, Tuesday night's game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators was a drastic mismatch in favor of the home team. It took less than three minutes for the Senators to begin proving it.

Patrick Eaves, Chris Kelly and defenseman Andrej Meszaros each had a goal and an assist as the Senators continued their mastery of the Maple Leafs with a convincing 5-1 triumph.

Antoine Vermette recorded a pair of assists and Martin Gerber made 30 saves for Ottawa, which improved to 15-2-2 in its last 19 meetings with Toronto.

One season after reaching the Stanley Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history, the Senators have emerged as the NHL's best team, posting a 13-1-0 record. With this victory, Ottawa now has won a franchise-record eight straight games and set an NHL mark for the most points after 14 games with 26.

"We're playing well," Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson said. "The challenge is to keep it going. We're not worried about streaks or records or anything like that. We just want to go out every night, give ourselves a chance to win."

"If you asked most of the guys, they didn't know about the record," Kelly added. "The main focus is winning. We probably think more about that rivalry (with Toronto) and also about how we have to play against teams in our division. That's what's important."

Ottawa's Mike Fisher believes the team still can get better.

"We've been on a roll, and we know we've had a good start, but we can improve on a lot of things," he said. "Our coaches have been making sure we're sharp through different layoffs and breaks. We know we can't sit back and start thinking we're too good. We know we have to get a lot better."

Defenseman Chris Phillips opened the scoring 2:59 into the game to give the Senators a lead they never relinquished. With the Senators pressuring the Maple Leafs in the offensive zone, Phillips skated in from the left point, received a cross-slot pass from Dany Heatley at the half boards and snapped the puck over goaltender Vesa Toskala for his second goal of the season.

Eaves doubled the Senators' lead just 47 seconds seconds later, when he teamed with Kelly for a 2-on-1 rush. After Kelly carried the puck below the end line on the left side, he threaded a pass in front to Eaves, who beat Toskala for a 2-0 advantage.

"I think the start we had was the reason we won tonight," Kelly said. "We have an intense rivalry with them and we always know these games are going to be difficult, so getting to them early made a big difference."

"I think we weren't ready tonight," Toskala said. "They came at us quickly and scored those two fast goals, and it was tough to come back from that start. We tried, but it wasn't our night."

Just 81 seconds into the second period, Alfredsson made it a three-goal bulge for Ottawa. With his team shorthanded, the captain received a cross-slot pass from Dean McAmmond on a 2-on-1 rush and fired the puck past Toskala from the left faceoff circle.

It was the 10th goal of the season for Alfredsson, who pulled even with Dallas' Niklas Hagman for the league lead with three shorthanders. Ottawa tops the NHL with five tallies while down a skater.

Meszaros put the Senators up, 4-0, during a power play at 8:08, sending a wrist shot from the right point that somehow got through traffic and eluded Toskala. That was the last shot faced by the Finn, who was replaced by Andrew Raycroft after making just nine saves.

"(Being down) 4-0, it's tough to come back against a team like that," Maple Leafs blue-liner Tomas Kaberle said. "We tried, and the second half was better than the first, but it's tough."

Toronto took advantage of one of its nine power-play opportunities with 5:37 remaining in the middle session to get on the scoreboard. Blue-liner Pavel Kubina made a cross-slot pass to Nik Antropov, who beat Gerber high to the stick side with a shot from the inner edge of the left circle for his ninth goal of the campaign.

Last season, the 27-year-old native of Kazakhstan scored a career-high 18 tallies.

Kelly converted a feed from Eaves on a 2-on-1 at 6:25 of the third to cap the scoring.

"I think we gave up too many odd-man rushes, especially early," Toronto's Mark Bell said. "You can't do that against a team like that or they'll capitalize. And tonight, they buried their chances."

Gerber was busiest in the second period, making half of his saves in the session en route to his league-leading 10th win. The Swiss goalie, who began the season as the Senators' starter in place of an injured Ray Emery and has refused to relinquish the job, is 20-1-2 since December 23.

"We got into some penalty trouble in the second, and your best penalty-killer has to be your goaltender, and Gerber was again for us tonight," Eaves said.

Raycroft stopped seven shots for the Maple Leafs, who also lost both ends of their season-opening home-and-home series with the Senators.

Bell and Kyle Wellwood made their season debuts for Toronto. Bell recently completed his league-imposed 15-game suspension for an off-ice incident in September 2006, while Wellwood joined the lineup after recovering from a hernia.

"With nine power plays, I had a lot of ice time," said Wellwood, who played nearly 17 1/2 minutes. "I wasn't necessarily happy with the way I played, but it was good to get a game under my belt."






  • 20
    roots
    Sensfan4eva Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs 1, Senators 5  FinalMar 4 8:31 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 1 0 1
    OTTAWA 2 2 1 5 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - CHRIS PHILLIPS 2 (DANY HEATLEY, MIKE FISHER) 2:59
    OTT - PATRICK EAVES 3 (CHRIS KELLY, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 3:46
    2ND PRD: OTT - (SH) DANIEL ALFREDSSON 10 (DEAN MCAMMOND, WADE REDDEN)
    1:21
    OTT - (PP) ANDREJ MESZAROS

    Nov 6 10:02 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    OTTAWA 5
    3RD PRD: OTT - CHRIS KELLY 3 (PATRICK EAVES, ANTON VOLCHENKOV) 6:25

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 1 1
    OTTAWA 2 2 4 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - CHRIS PHILLIPS 2 (DANY HEATLEY, MIKE FISHER) 2:59
    OTT - PATRICK EAVES 3 (CHRIS KELLY, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 3:46
    2ND PRD: OTT - (SH) DANIEL ALFREDSSON 10 (DEAN MCAMMOND, WADE REDDEN)
    1:21
    OTT - (PP) AND

    Nov 6 9:07 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 1
    OTTAWA 4
    2ND PRD: TOR - (PP) NIK ANTROPOV 9 (PAVEL KUBINA, TOMAS KABERLE) 14:23

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    OTTAWA 4
    2ND PRD: OTT - (PP) ANDREJ MESZAROS 2 (ANTOINE VERMETTE) 8:08

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 8:43 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    OTTAWA 3
    2ND PRD: OTT - (SH) DANIEL ALFREDSSON 10 (DEAN MCAMMOND, WADE REDDEN)
    1:21

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 8:33 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TORONTO 0 0
    OTTAWA 2 2 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: OTT - CHRIS PHILLIPS 2 (DANY HEATLEY, MIKE FISHER) 2:59
    OTT - PATRICK EAVES 3 (CHRIS KELLY, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 3:46
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    TOR 9 9

    Nov 6 8:11 PM
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    leafsgurl Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 7:59 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    OTTAWA 2
    1ST PRD: OTT - PATRICK EAVES 3 (CHRIS KELLY, ANTOINE VERMETTE) 3:46

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 7:46 PM


  • NHL
    TORONTO 0
    OTTAWA 1
    1ST PRD: OTT - CHRIS PHILLIPS 2 (DANY HEATLEY, MIKE FISHER) 2:59

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 7:44 PM
  • 10
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    OddyOh Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 6:26 PM
  • 5
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    bouch Added 5 roots

    Maple Leafs vs. SenatorsNov 6 12:12 PM