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Brian Elliott appeared poised to become the third straight goalie to blank Toronto until Francois Beauchemin trickled a point shot by him at 5:15 of third period. That ended the team's goal drought at 167 minutes, 39 seconds, the franchise's longest in 83 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Making matters worse for Toronto was this: captain Dion Phaneuf left during the second period with an apparent injury to his left leg. He got tied up awkwardly with Ottawa's Peter Regin and needed assistance to get to the dressing room.
The team described it as a "lower-body injury."
"He's got a cut on his leg," Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "It was deep enough that they wanted to take him to the hospital to determine the extent of the injury. That's the last I heard."
Ottawa beat its provincial rival for the first time since last November. Mike Fisher had the other goal on a penalty shot for the Senators, who overcame some of their own goal-scoring woes.
"It's a good hard-fought win," said Elliott, who finished with 33 saves.
MacArthur also scored for Toronto (5-5-1). He now has seven goals this season.
The Maple Leafs have tumbled in the standings after a strong start. They are 1-5-1 in their past seven games, scoring just nine goals during that span.Fisher opened the scoring at 17:06 of the first period on a penalty shot after he was hooked by Maple Leafs defenseman Mike Komisarek.
Fisher beat Jean-Sebastien Giguere with a low shot — becoming the second player in two games to score on a penalty shot against the goalie, following Ryan Callahan of the Rangers on Saturday.
The goals by Gonchar and Karlsson came just before the midway point of the game. They each beat Giguere with point shots.
After Beauchemin ended Toronto's long goal drought with his second of the season, MacArthur cashed in on a power play with 50.3 seconds left. However, the Maple Leafs couldn't complete the comeback.
NOTES: Brett Lebda and John Mitchell were healthy scratches for Toronto ... Ottawa sat out Milan Michalek and Brian Lee ... Country singer Carrie Underwood attended the game and will perform at Air Canada Centre on Wednesday. She is married to Fisher ... Announced attendance was 19,409 ... The Senators return home to face the New York Islanders on Thursday night at Scotiabank Place (7:30 p.m., TSN, Team 1200).