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Leafs lose another regular season game to Senators

by Staff Writer / Toronto Maple Leafs
OTTAWA (AP) - Karel Rachunek doesn't care whether it was luck or skill.

Rachunek scored with 4.8 seconds left in overtime to lift the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night. Rachunek raced down the right side with time expiring and blew a shot past goaltender Curtis Joseph.

"I think Curtis Joseph thought I was going to pass it," Rachunek said. "He was cheating a bit so there was space. It was a lucky goal but I'm real excited about it."

After the goal, the Senators streamed onto the ice to the delight of the sellout crowd of 18,500 at the Corel Centre.

Todd White scored for the Senators with 36 seconds left in the second period to tie game at 1.

"We've been finding ways to win and tonight was no different," White said. "It's good to see that we didn't panic. We stayed with the game plan and came back. We had a lot of chances in the second period and weren't able to get any by Joseph, so the tying goal was important for us."

Toronto center Robert Reichel left the ice with an undisclosed injury 6:28 into Saturday's contest. He ran into the end boards following a hit by Ottawa's Magnus Arvedson, who drew an interference penalty.

Defenceman Dmitry Yushkevich opened the scoring for the Leafs. Yushkevich, shooting from the blue line, one-timed Mikael Renberg's pass by goalkeeper Patrick Lalime, who has won all seven of his career games against Toronto.

"We got out of it pretty well," Lalime said. "We came back from a tough first period and at the start of the second, we took the game from there."

The Leafs took an 11-1 shot advantage into the second period but the Senators pressed late in the period. White converted a two-on-one with Shawn McEachern, beating defenceman Bryan McCabe and then Joseph with 36 seconds left, to tie the score and cut Toronto's shot advantage to 17-14.

"As the game went on, we weren't as sharp and then we made the mistake at the end," Toronto coach and general manager Pat Quinn said. "Our power play wasn't as effective as we think it should have been."

The Senators extended their unbeaten streak to nine games and their home undefeated string to six. It was the second game of a five-game homestand for Ottawa.

"I thought we were able to stay in the game, kill the penalties and go from there," Ottawa head coach Jacques Martin said.

The Eastern Conference-leading Leafs were 7-1-1-2 over their previous 11 games but couldn't keep the Senators from drawing within two points of them atop the Northeast Division standings. The Maple Leafs swept the Senators in the first round of the playoffs last season. The Leafs also took the Senators out of the first round in six games the previous year.

But Ottawa has won both meetings this season.

Notes: Joseph was outstanding on a flurry of shots during an Ottawa power play midway through the final period ... Toronto outshot Ottawa 29-27 ... Toronto had a three-game unbeaten streak end ... Ottawa's Andre Roy was tagged with a boarding major and game misconduct at 11:24 after hitting Leafs Aki Berg.

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