OTTAWA -- -After failing to score in his last shootout attempt, Phil Kessel was finally ready to try a move he'd had on hold for a while.
Jonas Gustavsson turned aside Ottawa's two attempts, with Alex Kovalev's backhander hitting the right post before the Swedish rookie got a glove on Jason Spezza's shot.
Kessel, who scored his 22nd goal and had another potential goal waved off in the second, went way wide to the right boards and came in slowly before deking and putting a shot between Pascal Leclaire's legs to convert Toronto's opener in the tiebreaker.
"I practiced it a couple of times last year in Boston," Kessel said. "I was too nervous to bring it out but I missed the other night so I thought, 'What the heck, let me try something different.' I was going to shoot but he didn't give me anything, so I just kind of improvised."
Kulemin ended it when he scored on the Maple Leafs' second attempt.
Gustavsson stopped 22 shots in his first start since playing for Sweden during the Olympics as Toronto ended a four-game losing streak (0-3-1).
Chris Neil scored in the first for Ottawa, which has lost three straight since the Olympic break (0-2-1).
Leclaire made 30 saves. He was pulled 6:23 into the Senators' 4-1 loss at Carolina on Thursday night after he allowed two goals on five shots.
Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Regin were left out of Ottawa's flu-ridden lineup. Alfredsson, the Senators' captain, did not skate with the team earlier in the day. He did not take part in the pregame warmup, which Regin did, though the Danish center was also unable to play because of a virulent flu bug that has stricken the team.
"It was a tough game," Neil said. "I didn't know if I was going to be able to play tonight but the guys battled through it and we were able to get a point out of it but it would have been nice to get two."
The Senators recalled forward Zack Smith from Binghamton of the AHL. Smith arrived at Scotiabank Place during the first period and was on the Ottawa bench at the start of the second. He played seven shifts overall in the second and third and saw six minutes of ice time.
The Maple Leafs lost forwards John Mitchell and Fredrik Sjostrom to upper-body injuries during the game, a chippy fifth encounter this season between the provincial rivals.
Mitchell left and did not return after he was struck on the head by Neil's shoulder check 14 minutes in. Toronto's bench became even shorter early in the second when Sjostrom was injured on a hit by Senators defenseman Matt Carkner.
"A lot of us are pretty tired right now," said Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak, who assisted on Kessel's goal. "We played a lot of minutes tonight."
Kessel drew Toronto even 6:50 into the second when he snapped a shot from the right side past Leclaire and inside the left post. He had a potential go-ahead goal waved off at 15:07 after referee Gord Dwyer ruled a Toronto player struck the puck with a high stick before Kessel swept it into the net.
Neil opened the scoring with a power-play goal 17:03 in shortly after his hit on Mitchell initiated hostilities. Though no penalty was called on Neil's hit, Toronto's Viktor Stalberg and Senators center Jesse Winchester were sent off for roughing.
"It's a contact game -- keep your head up," Neil said.
Ottawa's Shean Donovan fought with Maple Leafs defenseman Luke Schenn at 18:05 while Carkner and Colton Orr squared off for the fourth time this season. Orr claimed his third decision over Carkner, holding up three fingers to the crowd while he skated off the ice.
"I think it swung the momentum over," Orr said. "We got the two points, we played well tonight. We got a few injuries and the guys stepped up."
Canadian Olympic gold medalists Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir (ice dancing) and Jennifer Botterill (women's hockey) were greeted with standing ovations from the capacity crowd of 20,036 when they were introduced to make the ceremonial opening faceoff. ... Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson used his timeout after Ottawa's Chris Phillips was called for tripping 14:11 into the third to set up a brief 5-on-3 advantage for Toronto. ... Senators D Filip Kuba missed his second straight game due to a lower-body injury. He was hurt Tuesday night in a 4-1 loss to the Rangers. ... Regin, Ryan Shannon and Jarkko Ruutu were ill and missed practice Friday. Several other Senators were believed to have been stricken with the virus. Goalie Brian Elliott was originally expected to start, but dressed as Leclaire's backup instead.