Skip to main content

Headlines

Daniel Alfredsson scores two goals to lead Senators to 3-2 win over Leafs

NHL.com @NHL

OTTAWA - The Toronto Maple Leafs showed plenty of heart Thursday, but not enough smarts.

And after back-to-back games against the Ottawa Senators to open the regular season, they have just a single point to show for their efforts.

Daniel Alfredsson scored his second goal of the game on the power play with less than five minutes remaining and lifted the Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Leafs in the back end of the home-and-home series.

It was Ottawa's second goal with the man advantage on the night and it came on the Senators' 10th power-play opportunity.

"We just have to work a little bit smarter," Leafs goaltender Vesa Toskala said after seeing his regular-season debut for Toronto spoiled when Chad Kilger took a holding penalty - one of three straight minors called against the Leafs in the final nine minutes - and Alfredsson converted.

Toskala made 26 saves and otherwise looked sharp, saying he felt good overall.

"I gave us a chance to win. I think we for sure deserved at least a point from this game," he said.

The Leafs outshot the Senators 43-29, but also gave up a power-play goal to Dany Heatley in the second period. Meanwhile, they went 0-for-7 with the man advantage themselves and, despite rallying from a 2-0 second-period deficit, failed to earn at least a point.

"I think we're concerned about taking (the penalties). I think Ottawa's probably concerned about taking them," said Toronto coach Paul Maurice, who felt the play that produced Alfredsson's winner was a tough break.

"The Chad Kilger one ... he got his stick stuck in the glass and I guess he's supposed to release his stick, but he's not trying to hold anyone up. It was clear early on that those were for the most part going to get called tonight and we took too many of them."

Heatley, who scored the winning goal in overtime Wednesday night in Ottawa's season-opening 4-3 victory at the Air Canada Centre, also added an assist before a sold-out crowd of 19,857 at Scotiabank Place in the Senators' home opener.

Wade Redden and Jason Spezza each recorded a pair of helpers. Martin Gerber stopped 41 shots in goal for the Senators.

The Senators improved to 8-4-3-0 all-time in home openers and are 14-2-2 in their last 18 regular-season meetings against the Leafs.

Heatley has 17 goals in 18 games against Toronto as a member of the Senators.

"For us generally as a team, you play your big rival and you get both wins, it's a good start," Gerber said.

Mats Sundin and Matt Stajan replied for Toronto.

"I think we had a great effort, but when you win, you deserve to win and when you lose, you deserve to lose," Maurice said.

Sundin's goal was his 389th as a member of the Leafs, moving him into a tie with Darryl Sittler for the most in franchise history.

"I'm very proud of that, it's something I'll enjoy more at the end of the season obviously (as) we're right in the middle of things," Sundin said. "I'm proud of being in a group with Darryl Sittler and those guys."

Before the game, the Senators raised a banner to commemorate their own piece of history - the Eastern Conference title they won last spring.

Alfredsson had received the loudest cheer of all during player introductions, and he gave the crowd more to cheer about when he opened the scoring at the 8:18 mark of the first.

In the second, Heatley redirected a pass from Spezza that Toskala appeared to kick out and play continued until the next stoppage. But after a review, the goal was ruled to have crossed the goal line and Ottawa led 2-0.

Less than three minutes later, however, the Leafs were right back in it after Sundin and Stajan scored just 32 seconds apart, both off goal-mouth scrambles.

But with Kilger in the box for holding, Alfredsson fired a shot over Toskala's shoulder with 4:59 left for the winner.

"I didn't have much to shoot at, but I was able to put it in the corner," Alfredsson said.

Notes: To celebrate the start of the Senators' 15th season, former Ottawa captain Laurie Boschman dropped the puck for the ceremonial faceoff. ... In addition to goalie Ray Emery (wrist) and centre Dean McAmmond (concussion), who are both out day-to-day with injuries, defenceman Luke Richardson was scratched from the Senators' lineup. ... Ottawa plays host to the New York Rangers on Saturday. ... Defencemen Anton Stralman and Wade Belak were Toronto's scratches. ... Next up for the Leafs are the Montreal Canadiens, who visit the Air Canada Centre .

View More