OTTAWA - Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson scored in the shootout as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 2-1 Thursday night.
Alex Auld, making his seventh straight start, was solid for the Senators making 25 saves. Mike Fisher also scored for Ottawa (8-9-4), which won its second straight.
Nikolai Kulemin scored the only goal for the Leafs (7-10-5) who are now mired in a five-game losing streak. Vesa Toskala was most impressive stopping 34 shots in front of a divided 19,703 at Scotiabank Place.
Billed as the Battle of Ontario, these two teams are both fighting to stay out of the Northeast Division basement. With 20 points, the Senators are just one point ahead of the last-place Leafs.
The Senators opened the scoring as Fisher scored his third of the season after missing the last two games due to a knee injury. Fisher was looking to pass to Shean Donovan, but the puck bounced in off Tomas Kaberle.
The Leafs didn't take long to respond, scoring 59 seconds later as Kulemin was left all alone driving to the net.
After a fast-paced, energetic first period things slowed down in the second. Both teams had a couple chances, but both Toskala and Auld were solid.
Ottawa's Dany Heatley was clearly frustrated midway through the period as he slammed his stick against the boards after Toskala made a great glove save.
The third period got off to a quick start as both teams displayed a greater sense of urgency, and both goaltenders making a number of great saves.
The Leafs had a great chance to take the lead late in the third after Jarkko Ruutu took a minor penalty, but were unable to score on the ensuing power play finishing the game 0-for-4 with the man advantage. The Senators, meanwhile, were 0-for-1 with the extra man.
Donovan left the game early in the third with an undisclosed upper body injury and will be re-evaluated Friday.
The Senators will take on the New York Islanders Saturday night, while the Leafs will host the Philadelphia Flyers.
Notes: Ottawa placed D Luke Richardson on waivers. ...The Senators were without RW Chris Neil (right leg) and RW Ryan Shannon (concussion), LW Dean McAmmond (flu). ...The Leafs were without LW Jason Blake (concussion). ...RW Andre Deveaux made his NHL debut for Toronto.