Senators 8, Maple Leafs 2
OTTAWA (AP)—The Pizza Line’s latest home delivery thrilled the Ottawa Senators’ fans on so many levels.
Dany Heatley added a goal and an assist, and Bryan Smolinski, Antoine Vermette and Chris Kelly also each had a goal and an assist. Dominik Hasek made 27 saves as the Senators outshot Toronto 43-29 to rebound from a 2-0 loss to Minnesota on Thursday night.
Ottawa’s top line of Alfredsson, Heatley and Spezza combined for eight points, all with the man advantage.
“We were moving the puck well,” Alfredsson said. “We were taking the shots when we had them. It was clicking pretty good.”
Alfredsson’s goal 13:27 into the third was Ottawa’s sixth, which allowed the record crowd of 19,935 at the Corel Centre to benefit from a promotion of a free slice of pizza from a restaurant chain. It is the fourth time in 16 home games this season the Senators have scored at least six goals.
“It’s a big win for us,” said Spezza, who got an instigator penalty for his fight with defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo late in the third. “We didn’t expect to get all those goals at the end, but it was a battle for most of the game.”
Heatley, Mike Fisher, Redden and Spezza scored in between as Ottawa—which embarrassed its provincial rivals 8-0 in Toronto on Oct. 29—beat the Maple Leafs for the fourth time in four games this season.
Toronto goalie Ed Belfour lost his fifth straight bid to move into sole possession of second place on the NHL’s career wins list. Belfour hasn’t won since Nov. 28, when he tied Terry Sawchuk with his 447th in a 2-1 victory in Florida.
“I wasn’t even thinking about pulling him out,” Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. “I didn’t want to pull him out, I wanted our team to get better in front of him, and we didn’t get better in front of him. … If there’s a guy that has done the kind of work he’s done for us for a long time getting bombarded out there then you hope you have the kind of quality that starts to pay attention to what their jobs are out there.”
Smolinski, who hustled and battled to set up Fisher’s go-ahead goal 8 minutes into the second, scored just 37 seconds after McCabe’s goal at 5:16 of the third to restore the Senators’ three-goal lead.
“That was a big goal by (Smolinski) right there,” said Redden, who returned after missing 10 games with a knee injury. “They make it 4-2 and they’ve got some momentum, and he comes right back and makes a big play to get the three-goal lead back. After that, it was basically over. Obviously, they kept coming hard and we answered back.”
Vermette followed Alfredsson’s team-leading 22nd goal with his sixth at 14:48. Kelly scored Ottawa’s final goal at 19:41.
Czerkawski, a healthy scratch for Toronto’s nine previous games, pumped his arms skyward after he made the most of a rebound of McCabe’s shot. He put a quick shot past Dominik Hasek into an open right side on a power play 4:37 in.
“It’s a mixed feeling because coming back was so exciting, and then we lost the game,” Czerkawski said.
Heatley tied Alfredsson for the team lead with his 21st goal, combining with both of his high-scoring linemates to draw Ottawa even on a power play at 18:30 of the first.
Redden scored his fifth at 11:05 and Spezza added his 12th later in the period to put the Senators up 4-1.
Tempers flared between the rivals, with fights also breaking out between Toronto’s Wade Belak and Chris Neil, and Senators defenseman Brian Pothier and Clarke Wilm in addition to Spezza and Colaiacovo’s bout.
Maple Leafs C Eric Lindros missed his second straight game because of a wrist injury. … Pothier had two assists.