Toronto at Ottawa

Spezza, Alfredsson score in shootout to push Senators past Leafs wire reports

OTTAWA -- The Ottawa Senators kept it simple in a shootout against Vesa Toskala and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Rather than trying to deke the goalie, Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson beat Toskala with shots to give Ottawa a 2-1 victory on Thursday night in a game overshadowed by the Maple Leafs reaching a deal with former Anaheim GM Brian Burke.

Spezza scored on the Senators' first attempt.

"He plays a little deeper than most guys so that was kind of my reasoning behind shooting," Spezza said. "I thought maybe to deke if he came out far, but ... I think he was relying on playing deep and not letting us beat him on a deke."

Alfredsson scored on Ottawa's third attempt to give the Senators their second successive victory.

"Usually, I kind of take it as it goes, but today I just made up my mind to kind of pull it in and then go high glove," Alfredsson said.

Alex Auld stopped Nikolai Kulemin and Lee Stempniak in the shootout after turning aside 25 shots during the game.

"Toskala stood on his head but Auldie's just been rock solid for us," Spezza said. "He hasn't allowed too many goals, his numbers are great, he's playing with a lot of confidence and he seems to be a guy who's really seeing the puck well and playing really well for us right now."

Mike Fisher returned to the Senators' lineup and opened the scoring early in the first. Kulemin drew Toronto even moments later.

Toskala stopped 34 shots to help the Maple Leafs earn a standings point despite extending their losing streak to five (0-3-2).

"He was awesome for us," rookie defenseman Luke Schenn said. "He definitely gave us a chance to win."

Off the ice, Burke and the Maple Leafs agreed to a six-year deal for the former Ducks general manager to take over as president and GM, the Associated Press learned Thursday night. Burke spent the past three-plus seasons with the Ducks, leading them to a Stanley Cup title in 2007. He'll replace Cliff Fletcher, hired as interim general manager following the firing of John Ferguson in January.

Ottawa outshot Toronto 35-26 overall, including a 5-0 margin in overtime as Toskala came up with a pair of big stops on Fisher in the final seconds of the extra period.

"It wasn't for lack of chances," Fisher said. "We had some good, quality shots and chances and he played really well."

The Maple Leafs ended a team-record 17-game stretch without being outshot.

The Senators hadn't played since their 4-1 victory against the New York Rangers on Saturday ended a 0-4-2 skid.

Jason Blake did not play for Toronto because of a suspected concussion. Blake was injured when he was hit by Atlanta's Colby Armstrong on Tuesday night.

Fisher, who missed two games because of a knee injury, got credit for his third goal of the season 3:54 in when his centering pass toward Shean Donovan went into the net off Toronto defenseman Tomas Kaberle's skate.

Kulemin tied it 59 seconds later when he tapped in Mikhail Grabovski's pass through the crease for his fourth goal.

Ottawa left wing Dany Heatley showed his frustration after Toskala stopped his slap shot 12 minutes into the middle period when he skated over to the left side and swung his stick, slamming it hard against the boards.

"It was a pretty good chance and I didn't really get all of it," Heatley said.

The Finnish goalie also got into the Senators' heads early in the third when he got a piece of Chris Kelly's shot with his stick before it struck the left post and stayed out.

"Maybe I had a little bit more luck on my side tonight," Toskala said.

Senators pest Jarkko Ruutu drew a goalie interference penalty 13:40 into the third when he fell over Toskala in the crease after the goalie made a sensational save on Jesse Winchester's short-range shot.


  • Maple Leafs RW Andre Deveaux made his NHL debut. Deveaux, recalled from Toronto of the AHL on Wednesday, had six goals and two assists in 13 games with the Marlies this season.
  • The Senators placed veteran D Luke Richardson on waivers earlier in the day. Richardson appeared in two games with Ottawa this season, bringing his career total to 1,417 regular-season games.
  • Donovan left the game in the third period because of an upper-body injury. He didn't return.
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Ottawa's Jason Spezza scores in the shootout against Toronto's Vesa Toskala.  (Getty Images)
Ottawa's Jason Spezza scores in the shootout against Toronto's Vesa Toskala. (Getty Images)
Related Links
Toronto (7-9-6)10000 (0)1
Ottawa  (8-9-4) «10001 (2)2
Three Stars
V. Toskala

Saves: 34
Save Pct.: .971
A. Auld

Saves: 25
Save Pct.: .962
M. Fisher

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0

Related Video

Scoring Summary
03:54Mike Fisher (3), Wrist Shot. Assist: Donovan, Ruutu
04:53Nikolai Kulemin (4), Wrist Shot. Assist: Grabovski, Hagman
 Jason Spezza (3), GOAL
 Daniel Alfredsson (1), GOAL
Penalty Summary
08:29Grabovski, 2 min, Hooking
13:36Spezza, 2 min, Hooking
19:20Spezza, 2 min, Holding
15:32Smith, 5 min, Fighting
15:32Smith, 2 min, Roughing
15:32Moore, 5 min, Fighting
15:32Moore, 2 min, Roughing
16:29Spezza, 2 min, Roughing
07:39Phillips, 2 min, Roughing
07:39Ponikarovsky, 2 min, Roughing
13:40Ruutu, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
Shots On Goal
Vesa Toskala 64:5834132
Alex Auld 65:0025120
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 19703
Referees - Marc Joannette, Greg Kimmerly
Linesmen - Michel Cormier, Derek Nansen
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Van 3