Ottawa at Toronto

Leafs topple Sens to win first two games this season


TORONTO -- Fast, aggressive, confident.

It's the vision the Toronto Maple Leafs had entering the season, but couldn't be sure existed until they started playing meaningful games. The early returns have been even better than expected.

Newcomers Kris Versteeg and Clarke MacArthur each had a goal and an assist Saturday night and the Maple Leafs displayed a well-balanced attack in a dominant 5-1 win over the Ottawa Senators.

"That's a great style of hockey for our team," MacArthur said. "We didn't really give them a chance to even get anything going. We finished hits everywhere. That's what we want to do, we want to be rough and we want to slow guys down a lot finishing hits all nights.

"It wears teams out."

With two wins over division rivals to start the season, the formula has worked perfectly. Last season, Toronto's second victory didn't come until its 14th game.

For coach Ron Wilson, there's no mystery behind the better start.

"They're better players -- period," he said.

Nikolai Kulemin, Phil Kessel and Tim Brent also scored and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 17 saves for Toronto, which opened the season Thursday night with a 3-2 home victory over Montreal.

Jason Spezza scored for Ottawa, coming off a 2-1 home loss to Buffalo on Friday night.

"Very disappointing," Senators coach Cory Clouston said. "We thought we had a pretty positive preseason, had a good week of practice. We've been outworked, outcompeted and outexecuted in all areas right now."

Toronto took an early 2-0 lead, with MacArthur setting up Kulemin at 1:38, and Kessel beating Pascal Leclaire off a feed from Versteeg at 7:51.

MacArthur scored midway through the second, Versteeg capitalized on a power play at 2:44 of the third, and Brent made it 5-0 at 5:39. Spezza spoiled Giguere's shutout bid at 7:11.


  • Last season, Toronto needed 14 games to get its second victory.
  • Leafs defenseman Brett Lebda (shoulder) hopes to make his debut with the team next week.
  • Ottawa's Ryan Shannon and Toronto's John Mitchell were healthy scratches.
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Chris Neil (25) and Mike Brown drop the gloves for the first of three fights in the third period. (Getty Images)
Chris Neil (25) and Mike Brown drop the gloves for the first of three fights in the third period. (Getty Images)
Ottawa (0-2-0)0011
Toronto  (2-0-0) «2125
Three Stars
P. Kessel

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
K. Versteeg

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
C. MacArthur

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1

Related Video

Scoring Summary
01:38Nikolai Kulemin (1), Slap Shot. Assist: MacArthur
07:51Phil Kessel (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Versteeg
08:18Clarke MacArthur (2), Slap Shot. Assist: Grabovski, Komisarek
02:44Power Play - Kris Versteeg (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Kaberle, Kessel
05:39Tim Brent (2), Slap Shot, Unassisted.
07:11Jason Spezza (1), Slap Shot. Assist: Alfredsson, Gonchar
Penalty Summary
10:10Karlsson, 2 min, Interference
18:54Smith, 2 min, Interference
04:13Spezza, 2 min, Hooking
09:23Armstrong, 2 min, High-Sticking
12:42Bozak, 2 min, Hooking
01:41Kelly, 2 min, Holding the Stick
02:18Gonchar, 2 min, Hooking
06:04Neil, 5 min, Fighting
06:04Brown, 5 min, Fighting
08:59Carkner, 5 min, Fighting
08:59Orr, 5 min, Fighting
14:27Brent, 2 min, Tripping
15:49Fisher, 5 min, Fighting
15:49Versteeg, 5 min, Fighting
18:38Kulemin, 2 min, Slashing
18:38Phaneuf, 10 min, Misconduct
Shots On Goal
Pascal Leclaire59:55335
Jean-Sebastien Giguere60:00171
Game Information
Attendance - 19157
Referees - Bill McCreary, Justin St. Pierre
Linesmen - Scott Driscoll, Steve Miller
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