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Ponikarovsky, Toskala help Maple Leafs edge Senators

Oct 26, 2008 - 5:03 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- Alexei Ponikarovsky scored in the third period and Vesa Toskala stopped 22 shots, lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.

Dominic Moore and Mikhail Grabovski also tallied for Toronto, which outshot Ottawa, 38-24, en route to its second straight win.

Shean Donovan and Dean McAmmond netted goals for the Senators, who have dropped four straight.

Ottawa's Filip Kuba recorded an assist, setting a record for defensemen by setting up a tally in each of the first eight games of the season.

The Maple Leafs, who took the first round of the "Battle of Ontario," have earned a point in five of their last six games.

"It was a really solid effort all the way, and we knew that they played last night, so we wanted to get a good start and not give them any life," Moore said.

Meanwhile, the Senators cannot seem to get in gear. Ottawa has averaged just two goals during its losing streak.

"Toronto, they've come out of the gate hard every game this year," Ottawa's Jarkko Ruutu said. "It wasn't really a surprise. I don't think that was the difference. We couldn't put the puck in the net.

"It's not time to panic. All it is, is hard work, and there's time to figure things out. We've got to play together. We have enough talent, we just have to learn to play as a five-man unit out there."

Thanks to the Senators' struggles, Toskala did not have to work hard for most of the game. However, he made several crucial stops in the waning seconds after McAmmond scored a shorthanded goal on a breakaway with 49 seconds remaining in the third period to draw the Senators within 3-2.

It was a bad break for Toronto, as McAmmond's shot appeared to deflect in off a defenseman.

"That's always tough when it goes in off your own player, but it didn't hurt us tonight," Toskala said.

Ottawa had a chance to tie it with 18 seconds left, as several players poked at a loose puck in the crease. But Toskala was able to cover up for a faceoff.

"We played really smart a full 60 minutes. First and second (periods), they didn't get a whole lot going, and in the third, we didn't turn the puck over," Toskala said. "Our forecheck was working well. They had a hard time getting out of their zone."

The Maple Leafs took a 3-1 lead with 6:23 remaining, when Ponikarovsky took a pass from Nik Antropov and flicked a backhander under the arm of goaltender Alex Auld and into the right side of the net.

"There's still a lot of things we can do better," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "No. 1, to get ourselves in better shape to play the way we did early in the game. We should have buried them in the third."

Toronto controlled the tempo from the start, outshooting Ottawa, 21-9, in the first period. The payoff came when Moore slipped a loose puck past an outstretched Auld from in front with 5:46 to go in the session for a power-play goal.

Grabovski doubled the lead 2:15 into the second, when he fired a wrist shot from the low slot into the right side of the net. But Donovan cut the deficit to 2-1 when he deflected defenseman Alexandre Picard's shot from the point past Toskala just 1:51 later.

Auld stopped 35 shots for the Senators, who failed to convert either of their two power-play opportunities.

"In the first period, he gave us a good chance to win the hockey game," Senators coach Craig Hartsburg said. "He made a lot of saves and kept us in the game."








  • ------------------------------------
    Ottawa
    0 1 1 --2
    Toronto 1 1 1 --3
    ------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Toronto, Dominic Moore 2 (power play) (Mike
    Van Ryn, Jason Blake), 14:14. Penalties: C Neil, Ott (fighting
    match), 0:59; L Schenn, Tor (fighting match), 0:59; A Volchenkov, Ott
    (clipping), 6:31; D Alfredsson, Ott (holding), 11:40; J

    Oct 25 10:01 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: OTT - (SH) DEAN MCAMMOND 1 (UNASSISTED) 19:11

    Oct 25 9:54 PM
  • 25
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 5 roots

    Senators 2, Maple Leafs 3  FinalOct 25 9:49 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 1 1 2
    TORONTO 1 1 1 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) MIKE VAN RYN 2 (JASON BLAKE) 14:14
    2ND PRD: TOR - MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 1 (ANTON STRALMAN) 2:15
    OTT - SHEAN DONOVAN 2 (ALEXANDRE PICARD, FILIP KUBA) 4:06
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 2 (NIK ANTROPOV, MATT

    Oct 25 9:38 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 2
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: OTT - (SH) DEAN MCAMMOND 1 (UNASSISTED) 19:11

    Senators 2, Maple Leafs 3  3rd - 0:49Oct 25 9:35 PM
  • 20
    roots
    RUWTbot Added 20 roots (Close Finish)

    Senators 2, Maple Leafs 3  3rd - 0:49Oct 25 9:35 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    TORONTO 3
    3RD PRD: TOR - ALEXEI PONIKAROVSKY 2 (NIK ANTROPOV, MATT STAJAN) 13:37

    Senators 1, Maple Leafs 3  3rd - 6:23Oct 25 9:25 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 1 1
    TORONTO 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) MIKE VAN RYN 2 (JASON BLAKE) 14:14
    2ND PRD: TOR - MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 1 (ANTON STRALMAN) 2:15
    OTT - SHEAN DONOVAN 2 (ALEXANDRE PICARD, FILIP KUBA) 4:06
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL


    Oct 25 8:42 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 1
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: OTT - SHEAN DONOVAN 2 (ALEXANDRE PICARD, FILIP KUBA) 4:06

    Senators 1, Maple Leafs 2  2nd - 15:54Oct 25 8:14 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    TORONTO 2
    2ND PRD: TOR - MIKHAIL GRABOVSKI 1 (ANTON STRALMAN) 2:15

    Senators 0, Maple Leafs 2  2nd - 17:45Oct 25 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    TORONTO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) MIKE VAN RYN 2 (JASON BLAKE) 14:14
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 9 9
    TOR 20 20
    GOALIES: OTT - ALEX AULD
    TOR - VESA TOSKAL

    Oct 25 8:09 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTTAWA 0 0
    TORONTO 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) MIKE VAN RYN 2 (JASON BLAKE) 14:14
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    OTT 9 9
    TOR 19 19
    GOALIES: OTT - ALEX AULD
    TOR - VESA TOSKAL

    Oct 25 7:50 PM


  • NHL
    OTTAWA 0
    TORONTO 1
    1ST PRD: TOR - (PP) MIKE VAN RYN 2 (JASON BLAKE) 14:14

    Senators 0, Maple Leafs 1  1st - 5:46Oct 25 7:42 PM