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game recap

Anderson, Senators shut out Maple Leafs

Ottawa forward Smith extends goal streak to five games

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Zack Smith scored for the fifth straight game, and Craig Anderson made 29 saves for his fourth shutout of the season when the Ottawa Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

Smith scored his 12th goal in his past 18 games for the Senators (32-30-8), who ended a three-game losing streak. Mark Stone had a goal and two assists, Mika Zibanejad and Cody Ceci scored, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau had three assists. It was Anderson's 33rd NHL shutout.

Smith scored at 1:21 of the third period to give the Senators a 3-0 lead. The line of Smith, Stone and Pageau has been the Senators' best since it was put together at the beginning of February.

"Just three guys playing simple hockey and finding chemistry," Stone said. "I think when you find that chemistry, it's easy to come to the rink and be comfortable on the ice. I think if you look at those two guys, they're comfortable with me and I'm comfortable with them."

Video: TOR@OTT: Anderson makes two saves in front

Stone scored his 22nd of the season at 15:21 of the third period to make it 4-0 after another Maple Leafs turnover. Pageau and Stone broke in, and Stone scored when Pageau appeared to whiff on his shot and the puck went right to Stone, who had the open side of the net.

The Senators lost 6-2 to the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

"I think we're all proud guys, and we were embarrassed the other night, so we all knew we had to respond in the right way," Anderson said. "We did that tonight. What I really liked was our attention to detail.

"We responded in the right way. Tonight was an excellent game by all 20 guys, from the drop of the puck in the first period all the way to the end."

Video: TOR@OTT: Smith pads the lead with a rebound tally

Garret Sparks made 13 saves for the Maple Leafs (22-34-11), who lost for the seventh time in eight games (1-6-1). They were shut out for the eighth time this season.

"I didn't think we were competitive enough," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "I thought they were ready to go in the first period, and obviously the first two shifts of the second and the third we gave up goals."

The line of Nazem Kadri, Leo Komarov and Nikita Soshnikov was matched against the Pageau line.

"[Kadri's] line wasn't good enough," Babcock said. "The other unit across from them outplayed them badly. In the end, that was the game. We didn't execute as well as I would have liked in [defensive] zone. I didn't think we gave up a ton, but what we did was make three big mistakes for glorious chances. They were able to capitalize, and I didn't think we made it very hard on Anderson at all."

Ceci gave the Senators a 2-0 lead 19 seconds into the second period when he worked a give-and-go with Stone after a Maple Leafs turnover in the Toronto zone. Ceci got the puck back in the slot and shifted to his backhand to beat the check of Kadri, flipping the puck past Sparks on the stick side.

Video: TOR@OTT: Ceci extends Sens' lead with backhand tally

It was Ceci's 21st point of the season, one shy of his NHL best, set last season. Ceci's play has picked up since he was paired with veteran Dion Phaneuf, acquired in a trade from the Maple Leafs on Feb. 9.

Zibanejad made it 1-0 at 5:40 of the first period on a transition play, breaking wide on Maple Leafs rookie William Nylander at the Toronto blue line. Zibanejad's fake shot got Sparks moving and Zibanejad put the puck between his pads for his 15th goal of the season.

It was the 25th time this season, in their 70th game, the Senators scored first.

"Over the course of the season not every game is going to be perfect, but as a team we have to find ways to battle through it and find our game," Toronto defenseman Morgan Rielly said. "Tonight we weren't exactly able to do that. We had our chances on the power play (0-for-4) and we have to be better in that area."

Video: TOR@OTT: Zibanejad fakes out Sparks, scores five-hole

With eight injured players and others added prior to the NHL Trade Deadline, the Maple Leafs roster has been in transition the past couple of weeks.

"That's no excuse," Rielly said. "We had a chance to practice together a bunch and we've played a couple of games together. There are no excuses having new faces and new bodies in the lineup. It's your job to come to work and compete, and I think there were times when we did compete. You have to do it for 60 minutes and not just hot and cold. That's what got us tonight."

The Maple Leafs play at the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday.

Video: Anderson's shutout leads Sens over Leafs

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