|OTT||0||1||1||(0 - 0)||2|
|TOR||1||1||1||(0 - 0)||3|
TORONTO - Alexei Ponikarovsky scored a third-period goal to help the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday night.
Dominic Moore and Mikhail Grabovsky also scored, and Vesa Toskala made 22 saves for Toronto. The Maple Leafs have won two straight and earned points in five of six games.
Shean Donovan and Dean McAmmond scored for Ottawa (2-5-1), which has now lost four straight.
The latest Battle of Ontario had a feisty edge to it, with both teams throwing their weight around from the opening faceoff.
Toronto rookie defenceman Luke Schenn took part in his first NHL fight less than a minute into the game, after Senators agitator Chris Neil caught Matt Stajan with a knee-on-knee hit. The 18-year-old Schenn held his own against a guy who had already fought 117 times in his career.
Perhaps that sparked a Leafs team that threw all it had at Ottawa backup goalie Alex Auld, given his second consecutive start by head coach Craig Hartsburg. Starter Martin Gerber didn't dress because of a pulled leg muscle suffered during a practice Friday in Ottawa.
Aided by three power-play opportunities, Toronto had 21 shots on goal in the first period and took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room. Moore opened the scoring at 14:14 while the Leafs had a man advantage by chipping the puck over a sprawled Auld as several players converged on the crease.
Toronto went ahead 2-0 with Grabovski's long-awaited first goal of the season at 2:15 of the second period. The flashy Belarussian had grown visibly frustrated during his goal-less drought but was smiling widely after taking a nice pass from Niklas Hagman behind the net and lifting a hard wrist shot over Auld's shoulder.
The Maple Leafs were dominating at that point and had Ottawa on the ropes. However, Donovan soon got his team back in the game by tipping Alexandre Picard's shot past Toskala to make it 2-1 at 4:06.
Ponikarovsky restored the two-goal lead at 13:37 of the third period after a scramble in front of Auld before McAmmond scored short-handed at 19:11 to set up a frantic finish. Toskala held strong as the Daniel Alfredsson-Dany Heatley-Jason Spezza trio pushed for the equalizer.
Notes: Luke Richardson sat out for the Sens, with Christoph Schubert returning to the lineup as a defenceman ... Senators blueliner Filip Kuba has a point in all eight games this season. All 11 of his points are assists ... The Sens return to action Monday in Buffalo against the Sabres (7 p.m., NHL Network, Team 1200). It's the second stop on a four-game road trip.
|PPG - Dominic Moore (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Van Ryn (4), Jason Blake (3)|
1 - 0 TOR
|Mikhail Grabovski (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Niklas Hagman (2), Anton Stralman (1)|
2 - 0 TOR
|Shean Donovan (2) Tip-in - ASST: Alexandre Picard (1), Filip Kuba (11)|
2 - 1 TOR
|Alexei Ponikarovsky (2) Backhand shot - ASST: Nik Antropov (3), Matt Stajan (2)|
3 - 1 TOR
|SHG - Dean McAmmond (1) Snap shot - ASST: Jarkko Ruutu (1)|
3 - 2 TOR
|Luke Schenn Fighting (maj) against Chris Neil|
|Chris Neil Fighting (maj) against Luke Schenn|
|Anton Volchenkov Clipping against Dominic Moore|
|Daniel Alfredsson Holding against Mikhail Grabovski|
|Jason Smith Cross checking against Dominic Moore|
|Anton Stralman Hooking against Chris Neil|
|Anton Volchenkov Hooking against Alexei Ponikarovsky|
|Chris Neil Misconduct (10 min)|
|Dominic Moore Holding against Daniel Alfredsson|
|Christoph Schubert Interference against Nik Antropov|
|Chris Phillips Hooking against Jason Blake|
|SA: 38||TOI: 59:34|
|Saves: 35||EV: 21 - 23|
|PIM: 0||PP: 14 - 15|
|SV%: .921||SH: 0 - 0|
|SA: 24||TOI: 60:00|
|Saves: 22||EV: 20 - 21|
|PIM: 0||PP: 1 - 1|
|SV%: .917||SH: 1 - 2|