Maple Leafs 3, Senators 2
The Canadian Press
Francois Beauchemin scored the winning goal as Toronto edged the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Monday night, giving the Maple Leafs their first win in three tries this season over their provincial rivals.
Phil Kessel and Jason Blake also scored for Toronto, while Mike Fisher
and Jason Spezza
replied for Ottawa.
Vesa Toskala made 22 saves, helping the Leafs (12-14-7) win their fourth consecutive home game in front of 19,315 fans at Air Canada Centre. Toskala has now won four of his last five starts, including four straight at ACC.
Beauchemin's game-winner came just over six minutes into the third period after Spezza had pulled the Sens even on a power play. He fired a hard, low shot that found the net after deflecting off the stick of Senators blueliner Filip Kuba
Ottawa appeared to tie the game with 35 seconds left, but the referees waved the goal off when it was ruled that Jesse Winchester
kicked the puck into the net.
Spezza's goal came after he took a pass from captain Daniel Alfredsson
at the side of the net, hesitated for the puck for a moment, then slid it under Toskala to make it a 2-2 game.
The goal was Spezza's fifth of the year and only his second on the road.
Toronto held a one-goal lead heading into the third thanks to second-period goals from Blake and Kessel, who has scored in two consecutive games and 12 through 21 games this year.
Blake opened the scoring when he tore down the right side and slid a weak backhander through Brian Elliott
just 2:15 into the period.
Ottawa (16-12-4) got that one back when Fisher whacked home a loose puck that Tomas Kaberle failed to clear from the side of the Toronto goal. Toskala had made a nice save on Foligno, who cut to the middle of the ice on a 2-on-1 and fired a hard shot from the slot.
Kaberle could have whisked the puck to safety, but Fisher got on top of him quickly and chopped the puck over Toskala.
But the Leafs were back in the lead just 59 seconds later when Kessel converted a feed from Alexei Ponikarovsky.
Toronto tough guy Colton Orr left the game and did not return after a fight with the Senators' Matt Carkner
in the second period ... Sophomore Leafs defenceman Luke Schenn was a healthy scratch for the second straight game. ... Elliot made his 13th straight start for Ottawa as starter Pascal Leclaire
continues to nurse a fractured cheekbone ... The Senators return home to face the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday night at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., TSN2, Team 1200).
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