OTTAWA (AP)—Paul Maurice got his first win as Toronto’s new coach by sticking with a game plan that came up short one night earlier.
Chad Kilger and Darcy Tucker each scored two goals and Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves for his first shutout with the Maple Leafs, leading Toronto to a 6-0 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Thursday night.
Kyle Wellwood had a career-high four assists for the Maple Leafs, who spoiled Ottawa’s home opener, returning the favor one night after the Senators’ 4-1 win in Toronto in the season opener for both teams.
“Like we said after the game last night—and I wasn’t trying to sell you something—I thought we played a pretty solid game, a pretty smart game, we just didn’t do anything easily with the puck the entire night, and tonight we did,” said Maurice, who coached Toronto’s AHL affiliate last season. “A lot of things just came easy to us, Wellwood’s passes and those kind of things that weren’t there last night were there.”
Raycroft, the 2004 rookie of the year with Boston, got his fourth career shutout in his second start with the Maple Leafs, who won for just the second time in the last 10 games between the provincial rivals.
“If we had given up a goal in the last 20 seconds it wouldn’t have mattered,” Raycroft said. “It’s just nice to get the win, and when it comes down to it that’s all that really matters.”
“We play Saturday night,” Senators coach Bryan Murray said. “That’s about all you can say.”
After Kilger and Tucker scored special teams goals in the first period, Kilger scored an even-strength goal 5:42 into the second and Tucker added his second power-play goal of the game to put Toronto up 4-0 midway through the period.
Kilger’s second goal of the game made it 3-0 with a shot into the top left corner from the edge of the crease after Alex Steen jumped on a puck behind the net left there by goalie Martin Gerber, who miscommunicated with defensemen Wade Redden and Andrej Meszaros.
“Mez and I messed up,” Redden said. “We’ve got to tell Marty what to do there. Each of us was on a different page.”
Gerber gave up another goal at 9:37 when he yielded a big rebound after gloving Mats Sundin’s shot and let Tucker’s shot along the ice slide between his legs.
Ponikarovsky made it 5-0 at 16:50 when he deflected Sundin’s flip pass in mid-air, putting the puck into the left side as Gerber was caught sliding across to the right post.
Ray Emery replaced Gerber, who made 19 saves, to begin the third. Emery allowed Battaglia’s goal 13:50 into the period as Wellwood drew his fourth assist, tying his career high for points in a game.
“It’s always great to get a point and to be involved in the play that your team scores,” Wellwood said. “You just consider yourself lucky when you get that many.”
Kilger opened the scoring with a shorthanded effort at 11:03. Tucker made it 2-0 on a power play at 14:08 when he beat Gerber with a wrist shot from the right side.
Ferguson Jenkins took in the game and was given an ovation from the sellout crowd of 19,237 when he was shown on the video scoreboard during the first period. The Chatham, Ontario native is the only Canadian in baseball’s Hall of Fame. … Kilger, who has never had a hat trick, has six career two-goal games. … Wade Belak played right wing on Toronto’s fourth line. Belak, who fought with Ottawa’s Brian McGrattan in the second, played defense Wednesday after he moved there from forward for the Maple Leafs’ final preseason game. … Senators D Tom Preissing did not dress because of a bruised knee. Preissing, who left Wednesday’s game in the third period because of the injury, is expected to return Saturday against Buffalo.