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First Period Floors Leafs

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs

» @ OTT: Scoring | Stats

OTTAWA (CP) -- Ottawa Senators fans caught a glimpse Sunday of what might be a potent scoring combination this season.

Brandon Bochenski scored three goals with an assist while linemate Jason Spezza added a goal and three assists to lead the Ottawa Senators past the Toronto Maple Leafs 7-4 in exhibition play Sunday night.

Bochenski now has five pre-season goals as he is taking full advantage of the opportunity the Senators' coaching staff has given him. Last season with the American Hockey League's Binghamton Senators, Bochenski had 34 goals and 36 assists while mostly playing with Spezza.

"We saw him play last year in the minors, he was a linemate of Spezza's, and they played very well together," said Senators' coach Brian Murray. "So often with a guy that's played in the minors, you bring him up and you put him on the fourth line and then you're disappointed when he doesn't achieve the level you want him to achieve.

This time, we put him with two real good players and he proved to this point in time what he is _ he's a goal scorer."

A spot with the Senators was Bochenski's to lose coming into training camp and his eight points in three pre-season games could help him assure a roster spot when the regular season opens Oct. 5.

"That's all I can do is play hard every night and make them not able to send me down," said Bochenski, passing off much of his success to linemates Spezza and Dany Heatley, who added a goal and an assist.

"Those guys definitely make it look like I'm doing my job a lot better. But I'm still playing from game to game and trying to make the team. I still haven't secured a spot."

Bochenski scored two first-period power-play goals as the Senators built a 4-1 first-period lead. He completed the hat trick with an even-strength goal just past the two-minute mark of the second period.

Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson also scored for Ottawa, who led 6-3 after two periods.

Kyle Wellwood, Tie Domi, Matt Stajan and Mats Sundin replied for the Leafs.

Dominik Hasek started in goal for the Senators and faced nine shots before being replaced by Ray Emery after Domi's goal just past the halfway mark of the second period.

Hasek stopped Darcy Tucker on a second period penalty shot after a Senators' player put his hand on the puck in the crease. Emery allowed two goals on 20 shots.

Mikael Tellqvist went the distance for the Leafs and faced 39 shots.

Spezza opened the scoring just 95 seconds into the game and Fisher expanded the lead to 2-0 just 13 seconds later. Bochenski scored his first goal at 4:41.

After Wellwood got the Leafs on the board at 9:52, Bochenski closed out the first-period scoring at 13:07.

Alfredsson scored one of the easiest goals of his career to put the Senators up 6-2 at 12:02 of the second period. Tellqvist went behind the net to play the puck on a shoot in, but the puck took a funny hop off the glass right to Alfredsson who was all alone in front of the net.

Sundin scored late in the third period before Heatley sealed the win with an empty-net goal from centre ice.

"They got a good jump on us and we worked hard to get it back, but you have play 60 minutes to win the game," said Leafs' centre Alexander Steen, who picked up an assist on the Stajan goal.

"I feel for (Tellqvist). It wasn't really his fault at all, it was the rest of us who weren't really awake and never gave him a chance. Ottawa played good but I think second and third period we picked it up but it was a too late."

The win was Ottawa's second straight over Toronto this pre-season, following a 5-2 triumph Sept. 18 in Toronto. The Senators are a perfect 4-0 in exhibition play while the Leafs sport a 2-3 mark.

The Senators also drew a franchise record 19,311 for the game, the first pre-season sellout at the Corel Centre.

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