Maple Leafs

Game Recap

Maple Leafs 3, Senators 0

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:52 AM

Associated Press

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Maple Leafs 3, Senators 0
Ottawa Senators 0, Toronto Maple Leafs 3

TORONTO (AP) -Shutout goaltending by Vesa Toskala, top-notch play by reunited defensemen Bryan McCabe and Tomas Kaberle and a pair of goals from an underachieving power-play unit helped the Maple Leafs post their most significant victory of the season.

Toskala made 24 saves and the Toronto Maple Leafs halted a five-game winless streak by beating the Ottawa Senators 3-0 on Saturday night.

"We just beat what is probably the best team in the league," said Toskala, who posted his first shutout as a Leaf and first since March 16, against Columbus, when he was with San Jose. "Hopefully we get a confidence boost from this win because we've been going up and down."

Darcy Tucker, Jiri Tlustly and Mats Sundin scored for Toronto, which inched back to .500. Sundin's goal was his 533rd, tying him with Hockey Hall of Famer Frank Mahovlich for 27th place on the all-time list.

McCabe was named first star of the game.

"I think that was the best this team has played all year," said McCabe. "We knew we had to bring our best against the hottest team in hockey.

Said Sundin: "Bryan McCabe was a horse out there."

The Senators lost for only the third time in their 18 games. Ottawa goalie Martin Gerber stopped 15 shots and fell to 12-2.

This was a close-checking yawner until the sixth minute of the second period, when Alex Steen had a shot clang off an Ottawa post. The Senators broke back the other way on a 3-on-1 rush only to have Toskala make a huge save.

"Toskala didn't have to make a lot of saves but he made a few that kept it scoreless early," Senators defenseman Wade Redden said. "We've just got to have a little more excitement. It seemed like that game kind of lulled us a bit. We've got to have a lot more energy."

Neither team could do anything on the power play - Ottawa was 0-for-4 and Toronto was 0-2 - until Tucker connected with a man advantage with 45 seconds left in the second.

Gerber was on his knees beyond the top of his crease after stopping a McCabe blast when Tucker slipped the rebound into the open net. It was only the second goal of the season for Tucker, who hadn't scored since Oct. 13 and not since recovering from a knee injury that took him out of seven games.

The Leafs scored another power-play goal after Wade Redden was sent off for interference at 6:03 of the third. Sundin got his 10th by slapping a shot from the top of the circle to the right of Gerber. The puck found a small gap between the goalie's right leg and the post.

"They played well defensively," Senators right wing Daniel Alfredsson said. "Special teams play was the difference. They scored two power-play goals to win them the game."

Tlusty, who hadn't scored in nine games since getting two in his NHL debut in Pittsburgh on Oct. 25, made it 3-0 with 4:05 left in the game. Gerber dove expecting Tlusty to try to put in a rebound, but the 19-year-old Czech fooled him by circling behind the net and emerging on the other side for an easy wrist shot into the open goal.

Notes: Sundin won the majority of the faceoffs he took. ... The announced crowd of 19,596 was a season high although there were hundreds of empty seats as season ticket subscribers didn't bother to use them or give them away. ... John Pohl, who'd sat out the Leafs' previous four games, replaced Chad Kilger, who hurt a leg in practice Friday. ... Toronto plays at home against Boston on Tuesday and is at Dallas on Friday and at Phoenix on Saturday. ... The Senators are at Montreal on Monday and at Buffalo on Wednesday.

scoring summary
1st Period
2nd Period
PPG - Darcy Tucker (2) ASST: Bryan McCabe (5), Tomas Kaberle (9)
1 - 0 TOR
3rd Period
PPG - Mats Sundin (10) ASST: Bryan McCabe (6), Tomas Kaberle (10)
2 - 0 TOR
Jiri Tlusty (3) ASST: Mark Bell (2), Nik Antropov (10)
3 - 0 TOR
Power Play Stats
Power Plays0/42/4
Power Play %20.9%18.8%
% on Road30.8%10.3%
% at Home14.6%25.0%
League Rank7th17th
penalty summary
1st Period
Andrej Meszaros  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Andy Wozniewski  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
Alexei Ponikarovsky  Tripping against  Chris Neil
2nd Period
Mike Fisher  Interference against  Matt Stajan
Darcy Tucker  Interference against  Dean McAmmond
Hal Gill  Holding against  Shean Donovan
Luke Richardson  Holding against  Matt Stajan
3rd Period
Wade Redden  Interference against  Nik Antropov
Bryan McCabe  Roughing against  Randy Robitaille
Randy Robitaille  Roughing against  Bryan McCabe
goalie stats
Martin Gerber
SA: 18TOI: 59:40
Saves: 15EV: 12 - 13
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 3
SV%: .833SH: 2 - 2
Vesa Toskala
SA: 24TOI: 60:00
Saves: 24EV: 22 - 22
PIM: 0PP: 1 - 1
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1