OTTAWA (AP) -The Ottawa Senators clearly entered this season determined to avoid a letdown after losing the Stanley Cup final. So far, they've got an NHL record and a team one, too, to show for their effort.
Chris Phillips and Patrick Eaves scored goals 47 seconds apart early in the first period and Ottawa set a team record with its eighth straight win, a 5-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.
Martin Gerber made 30 saves and Daniel Alfredsson, Andrej Meszaros and Chris Kelly also scored for the Senators, who lost a five-game final to Anaheim last spring.
Ottawa, which raced through the first three rounds of the playoffs with a 12-3 mark, is off to the best start in NHL history through 14 games with a 13-1-0 mark and a record total of 26 points.
"If you work hard and do a lot of good things and you have good players, good things can happen but I think the bottom line is you have to come to the rink every day to work, to be prepared to pay the price," Alfredsson said. "Every team is pretty good these days. If you relax a little bit it's going to be a long night and I think that's been one of our keys, we've been mentally ready every night."
Detroit set the previous 14-game record of 25 points with a 12-1-1 start in 2005-06, a mark that was tied by Buffalo last season.
After Ottawa grabbed a 2-0 lead 3:46 in, Alfredsson scored his 10th goal early in the second to make it a three-goal lead with his third short-handed effort of the season.
Meszaros chased Maple Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala at 8:08 of the middle period with a power-play goal that made it 4-0.
Toronto's Nik Antropov scored his team-leading ninth goal on a power play at 14:23 of the second.
Kelly scored Ottawa's fifth goal on Andrew Raycroft in the third.
"With this rivalry and the intensity, and the Leafs fans in the building and everything, it's possibly a little more of a plus with this team than others, but when you score the first goal, stats say you win more often than you lose," Senators coach John Paddock said.
The Senators improved to 15-2-2 in their last 19 games against their provincial rivals, including wins on consecutive nights to begin the season.
"They really took the game away from us right away and after that it was just a matter of them coasting right through the rest of the hockey game," said Toronto center Kyle Wellwood, who made his season debut after having surgery for a sports hernia.
The bad blood between the two teams brought about a scrum in front of the Senators' bench with 50.9 seconds remaining.
Left wing Mark Bell, who was in the center of the pushing and shoving with Ottawa's Chris Neil, made his Maple Leafs debut after completing a 15-game suspension for a drinking and driving incident.
Senators center Jason Spezza missed his fourth game in a row because of a groin injury. Spezza, who had one goal and 12 assists in Ottawa's first 10 games, hasn't played since signing a seven-year, $49-million contract extension.
Ottawa struck quickly to take a 2-0 lead less than 4 minutes in.
Phillips got his second goal of the season 2:59 in as he finished off a wonderful four-man passing play. Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson would have picked up a third assist on the goal if it were permitted as he fed a centering pass to Mike Fisher to begin the scoring play.
Fisher passed to Dany Heatley in the right corner, who quickly fed the puck to the slot as Phillips drove the net and put a shot past Toskala for his second goal of the season 2:59 in.
"They've definitely got a lot of fan support here - we joke about it, taking the fans out of it early," Fisher said. "That was the good start we wanted. When we get playing with a lead we're pretty hard to stop. We came out hard and skated well and we forced them to make turnovers and got some odd-man rushes and capitalized on those."
Eaves combined with Kelly 47 seconds later to score off a 2-on-1.
Kelly drove down the left side and held the puck until he was at the goal line beside the net before feeding a centering pass. Eaves held off his shot enough to easily put the puck over Vesa Toskala's outstretched left pad at 3:46.
Alfredsson tied Dallas' Niklas Hagman for the league lead with his third short-handed goal of the season - Ottawa's league-leading fifth - when he finished off a 2-on-1 with Dean McAmmond 1:21 into the second.
Gerber turned Jiri Tlusty aside on a breakaway before Meszaros ended Toskala's outing with a slap shot from the point for his second goal at 8:08.
Antropov finally solved Gerber with a shot from the slot on a power play at 14:23 that made it 4-1.
Notes: Raycroft stopped seven shots after taking over from Toskala, who made nine saves. ... Alfredsson has 16 career short-handed goals. ... The Senators won seven in a row from Oct. 25-Nov. 13, 2001. ... A sellout crowd of 19,613 was on hand.
|Chris Phillips (2) ASST: Dany Heatley (8), Mike Fisher (5)|
1 - 0 OTT
|Patrick Eaves (3) ASST: Chris Kelly (5), Antoine Vermette (7)|
2 - 0 OTT
|SHG - Daniel Alfredsson (10) ASST: Dean McAmmond (1), Wade Redden (6)|
3 - 0 OTT
|PPG - Andrej Meszaros (2) ASST: Antoine Vermette (8)|
4 - 0 OTT
|PPG - Nik Antropov (9) ASST: Pavel Kubina (10), Tomas Kaberle (6)|
4 - 1 OTT
|Chris Kelly (3) ASST: Patrick Eaves (4), Andrej Meszaros (6)|
5 - 1 OTT
|Mike Fisher Hooking against Nik Antropov|
|Joe Corvo Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Mike Fisher Holding against Mats Sundin|
|Chris Phillips Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Nik Antropov Boarding against Nick Foligno|
|Antoine Vermette Hooking against Kyle Wellwood|
|Antoine Vermette Hooking against Mats Sundin|
|Nik Antropov Interference against Daniel Alfredsson|
|Mike Fisher Interference against Pavel Kubina|
|Chris Neil Roughing against Matt Stajan|
|Boyd Devereaux Holding against Christoph Schubert|
|Christoph Schubert Delaying Game-Puck over glass|
|Mark Bell Roughing against Chris Neil|
|Mark Bell Roughing against Chris Neil|
|Chris Neil Roughing against Mark Bell|
|Chris Neil Misconduct (10 min)|
|Mark Bell Misconduct (10 min)|