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Gerber makes 37 saves to give Maple Leafs a 5-2 victory over Ottawa

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TORONTO - It wasn't a meaningless game for Martin Gerber.

The former Senators goalie made 37 saves Saturday to help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat Ottawa 5-2 and finish the season on a high note.

With both teams long out of playoff contention, this was no Battle of Ontario. But it was a big personal victory for Gerber, who started the season in Ottawa before getting claimed on waivers by the Maple Leafs last month.

It was also a big night for Boyd Devereaux, who scored three goals for Toronto (33-35-13). Niklas Hagman had the other two goals for the Maple Leafs.

Jason Spezza and Chris Kelly replied for the Senators (36-34-11).

There was little on the line beyond personal pride, although a loss in regulation by the Maple Leafs would have given them an outside chance at landing the No. 1 pick in June's entry draft.

Hagman and Devereaux made sure that didn't happen.

With the game tied 2-2 early in the third period, Hagman put the Maple Leafs ahead for good when he beat Brian Elliott from the slot.

A late power play gave Ottawa a chance for the equalizer, but Devereaux swooped in while short-handed and roofed a backhander to complete his hat trick.

A few hats were thrown on the ice while teammate Matt Stajan retrieved the puck. It was quite an end to the season for a guy who spent most of the year in the American Hockey League.

The game was fairly wide open as both teams opened things up in their final game before a long summer break.

Toronto had already hit two posts when Devereaux made it 1-0 at 4:59 of the first period. His long shot made its way past a couple bodies and fooled Elliott.

The Sens responded with plenty of energy, but were unable to beat Gerber with any of their 16 shots in the period. Dany Heatley had two of the best chances - he couldn't make much of a move on a partial breakaway early in the frame but got all of a one-timer that Gerber got a pad on.

Another Devereaux goal early in the second period made it 2-0. He hammered a Lee Stempniak pass behind Elliott at 4:48.

Gerber was rolling along at the other end until a couple of gaffes behind the goal allowed Ottawa to tie it 2-2.

Spezza stole the puck directly from the Leafs goalie before coming around the goal and sliding into the empty net for his 32nd goal at 9:14. Just under two and a half minutes later, Gerber's pass to defenceman Ian White ended up on Kelly's stick and into the back of the net.

With the game tied heading to the third period, Devereaux and Hagman made sure the Toronto fans went home happy.

Even that couldn't take away the fact it was a tough season for both teams. Ottawa finished 11th in the Eastern Conference, one spot ahead of the Maple Leafs.

The last time there wasn't an NHL playoff game played in Ontario was after the 1991-92 season.

Notes: Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson sat out with a bad back ... AHL callup Tim Stapleton suited up for the Leafs while Nikolai Kulemin (foot) and Jeff Hamilton (healthy) sat out ... The Leafs honoured Brian Kilrea with a video tribute following his retirement as coach of the Ottawa 67's ... Announced attendance was 19,370.

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