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game recap

Leafs top sickly Sens 2-1 in shootout

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:50 AM

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

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Leafs top sickly Sens 2-1 in shootout
Toronto Maple Leafs 2, Ottawa Senators 1
Several players on the Ottawa Senators' roster were under the weather on Saturday night, but goaltender Pascal Leclaire made sure his team went home with a point in the standings.

Two nights after being pulled for allowing two goals on five shots, Leclaire made 30 saves in a rough 2-1 shootout loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place.

"Last game was a little short and I wasn't happy about it," Leclaire said. "I just wanted to be solid and give my team a chance to win. I wasn't worried about big saves, I just wanted to have a solid game and I think I did that."

Phil Kessel and Nikolai Kulemin scored on Toronto’s first two shootout attempts, while Leafs goalie Jonas Gustavsson denied Alex Kovalev and Jason Spezza in back-to-back rounds to secure the victory.

The Senators were without captain Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Regin, who were both suffering from the flu. Others played despite still experiencing symptoms, although some were forced to leave the bench during play. Minor-league forward Zack Smith managed to join the team from AHL Binghamton in time to start the second period.

"Things are pretty bad in there," Spezza said. "It's just a matter of degrees of how bad guys are feeling, but no excuses. We still wanted to win the game, but it's nice to get a point."

It was six years ago that a similar virus hit the Senators in a home game against the Leafs where they'd taken a 4-0 lead. But only a few players remained on the Ottawa bench by the end of the contest, and the Leafs went on to win 5-4 in overtime.

Leclaire helped the Sens reach overtime on Saturday, helping Ottawa kill three penalties in the third period, including a 24-second two-man advantage. Toronto went 0-for-6 on the power play.

"He kept us in the game," Sens forward Matt Carkner. "Hopefully a game like this can get his confidence back up because he did play really well for us."  

Chris Neil scored the lone goal of the period, which came via the power play at 17:03, when he poked Spezza's rebound past Gustavsson for his eighth goal of the season.

But Kessel tied the game 6:50 into the second, when the Leafs peppered Leclaire with 13 shots. Kessel, who was acquired from Boston in a deal that sent a pair of first-round draft picks to the Bruins, has 22 goals this season.

Toronto coach Ron Wilson was proud to see his team respond after it lost forward John Mitchell early in the game following a hit by Neil.

"We had a couple guys get knocked out of the game," Wilson said. "Our team rather than shrink away stood up and played physical and it was a great effort by everybody."

Material from wire services was used in this report
scoring summary
1st Period
17:03
OTT
PPG - Chris Neil (8) ASST: Jason Spezza (20), Chris Phillips (12)
1 - 0 OTT
2nd Period
06:50
TOR
Phil Kessel (22) ASST: Tyler Bozak (9)
1 - 1 Tie
3rd Period
NONE
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDOTTTORTOTAL
1A. Kovalev
P. Kessel
0 - 1
2J. Spezza
N. Kulemin
0 - 2
penalty summary
1st Period
01:32
TOR
Tomas Kaberle  Hooking against  Alex Kovalev
14:08
TOR
Viktor Stalberg  Roughing against  Jesse Winchester
14:08
OTT
Jesse Winchester  Roughing against  Viktor Stalberg
15:26
TOR
Jamie Lundmark  Hooking against  Andy Sutton
15:26
OTT
Andy Sutton  Roughing against  Jamie Lundmark
15:26
TOR
Jamie Lundmark  Roughing against  Andy Sutton
18:05
TOR
Colton Orr  Roughing against  Brian Lee
18:05
TOR
Luke Schenn  Fighting against  Shean Donovan
18:05
OTT
Shean Donovan  Fighting against  Luke Schenn
18:05
TOR
Colton Orr  Fighting against  Matt Carkner
18:05
OTT
Matt Carkner  Fighting against  Colton Orr
2nd Period
11:16
OTT
Jason Spezza  Slashing against  Colton Orr
13:05
OTT
Pascal Leclaire  Delaying Game - Puck over glass
3rd Period
03:14
OTT
Jarkko Ruutu  Holding against  Jeff Finger
06:16
OTT
Ryan Shannon  Delaying Game - Puck over glass
11:36
TOR
Wayne Primeau  Slashing against  Matt Carkner
12:35
OTT
Erik Karlsson  Interference against  Nikolay Kulemin
14:11
OTT
Chris Phillips  Tripping against  Tyler Bozak
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Jonas Gustavsson
SA: 23TOI: 65:00
Saves: 22EV: 15 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .957SH: 1 - 1
Pascal Leclaire
SA: 31TOI: 64:57
Saves: 30EV: 23 - 24
PIM: 2PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .968SH: 1 - 1