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game recap

Senators 5, Maple Leafs 2

Saturday, 11.12.2011 / 10:32 PM

Associated Press

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Senators 5, Maple Leafs 2
Ottawa Senators 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Three Stars of the Game
Craig Anderson
1st
SA: 33TOI: 59:55
GA: 2EV: 24-26
PIM: 0PP: 6-6
SV%: .939SH: 1-1
Nick Foligno
2nd
Nick Foligno
LW
G: 2Shots: 2
A: 0Hits: 8
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: -1TOI: 13:33
Zack Smith
3rd
G: 1Shots: 3
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 16:20

TORONTO - Craig Anderson's confidence started being rebuilt the moment he found out he was getting another start.

One night after being pulled just over two minutes into a loss against Buffalo, Anderson made 31 saves during a 5-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

It was an important bounce-back performance for the struggling No. 1 netminder. The turning point might have been a discussion between Anderson and coach Paul MacLean in the wake of his quick exit against the Sabres.

"It's a huge confidence lift when the coach comes to you and says `You weren't very good the night before and we need more out of you' and you respond," said Anderson. "It's a huge emotional lift knowing that he's got confidence in me and that just makes my confidence go higher and higher."

Anderson was thought to be one of the big reasons for optimism for the rebuilding Senators heading into the season, but the team has managed a decent start in spite of some subpar play from him.

That wasn't the case against the Maple Leafs, who pressed hard for the equalizer in the third period.

"He competed," MacLean said of Anderson. "I thought that our whole team competed better than we did in the previous games ... We did a good job of defending, didn't give up (many) second opportunities and if we did, Craig was there to stop them."

Nick Foligno scored two goals, and Sergei Gonchar, Zack Smith and Milan Michalek had one apiece for Ottawa (8-9-1), which continues its six-game road trip with a swing through Western Canada next week.

Tyler Bozak and Joffrey Lupul replied for the Leafs (10-6-1).

The fans voiced some displeasure with boos in the third period as Toronto dropped its third straight game at Air Canada Centre. It's been more than a week since the Leafs got a goal from their second, third or fourth line.

The turning point for Ottawa came when it started to take over the special-teams battle in the second period.

Bozak had given the Leafs a 1-0 lead, but Toronto was unable to extend the advantage during two subsequent power plays. Gonchar tied it 1-1 at 9:11 on a delayed penalty after Kaspars Daugavins found him alone in front and kicked the puck his way.

Ben Scrivens was making his fourth start in the last five games for the Leafs and couldn't be faulted when Foligno made it 2-1 with a breakaway goal on a 5-on-3 power play. It was a measure of revenge for Foligno, who scored with gauze hanging out of his nose after taking a high stick from Toronto's Philippe Dupuis to create the man advantage.

"The adrenaline was pumping," Foligno said.

Added MacLean: "The hockey gods have a way of evening things out, I guess."

The Senators got an insurance goal from Smith just 48 seconds into the third period. He beat Scrivens on an odd-man rush after Toronto captain Dion Phaneuf got caught up ice.

Lupul made it 3-2 with a wraparound goal at 17:10 and the Leafs looked poised for a comeback, but Foligno and Michalek each hit the empty net to secure Ottawa's first victory since a 3-2 decision over Toronto on Oct. 30.

"I think it's huge for us because we've had a lot of games we've kind of been close," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson. "We've just got to keep pushing ourselves and keep getting better and believe in the process. To get a win, I mean it just validates all of the effort you put in and lifts the confidence level of the team."

It also comes at an important juncture of the schedule.

Ottawa flew home after the game and was scheduled to board another plane Sunday afternoon for Calgary. They'll visit the Flames on Tuesday, then the Edmonton Oilers (Thursday), Vancouver Canucks (Nov. 20) and Pittsburgh Penguins (Nov. 25) before playing another game at Scotiabank Place.

"We just needed to get out of our little slump that we were in," Anderson said. "It's a good start, something to build off of. You've just got to move forward and continue with the positive things."

NOTES: Hockey Hall of Fame inductees Ed Belfour, Doug Gilmour, Mark Howe and Joe Nieuwendyk were honored before the game ... The Senators sat out rookie defenceman David Rundblad ... Sixteen of 40 players dressed for the game once played in the NCAA ... Announced attendance was 19,553.

scoring summary
1st Period
17:18
TOR
Tyler Bozak (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Phil Kessel (12), Luke Schenn (4)
1 - 0 TOR
2nd Period
09:11
OTT
Sergei Gonchar (2) Snap shot - ASST: Kaspars Daugavins (1), Zack Smith (6)
1 - 1 Tie
17:46
OTT
PPG - Nick Foligno (5) Wrist shot - ASST: Erik Karlsson (15), Craig Anderson (2)
2 - 1 OTT
3rd Period
00:48
OTT
Zack Smith (3) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
3 - 1 OTT
17:10
TOR
Joffrey Lupul (9) Wrap-around - ASST: NONE
3 - 2 OTT
18:53
OTT
EN - Nick Foligno (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Jesse Winchester (2)
4 - 2 OTT
19:18
OTT
EN - Milan Michalek (11) Snap shot - ASST: NONE
5 - 2 OTT
penalty summary
1st Period
04:16
TOR
Joffrey Lupul  Hooking against  Jesse Winchester
04:16
OTT
Jesse Winchester  Diving against  Joffrey Lupul
10:36
TOR
Mike Brown  Fighting (maj) against  Zenon Konopka
10:36
OTT
Zenon Konopka  Fighting (maj) against  Mike Brown
19:52
OTT
Stephane Da Costa  Roughing against  Philippe Dupuis
2nd Period
02:49
OTT
Jared Cowen  Interference against  David Steckel
09:57
OTT
Brian Lee  Interference against  Mike Brown
16:17
TOR
Tyler Bozak  Holding against  Bobby Butler
16:19
TOR
Philippe Dupuis  Hi stick - double minor against  Nick Foligno
3rd Period
04:25
OTT
Chris Phillips  Interference against  Joey Crabb
08:41
OTT
Chris Phillips  Tripping against  Mikhail Grabovski
goalie stats
Craig Anderson
SA: 33TOI: 59:55
Saves: 31EV: 24 - 26
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .939SH: 1 - 1
Ben Scrivens
Ben Scrivens
2-2-0
SA: 22TOI: 59:30
Saves: 19EV: 15 - 17
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 3
SV%: .864SH: 2 - 2