Sec­ond fid­dles tune in Leafs

Sen­a­tors’ No. 2 line does all the scor­ing

SundayXtra - - TRENDS - — The Cana­dian Press

OT­TAWA— While Toronto was busy shut­ting down the Sen­a­tors top line Satur­day night, Ot­tawa’s sec­ond at­tack unit picked up the slack.

Mike Fisher scored twice and Brian El­liott made 29 saves as the Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors blanked the Maple Leafs 3-0 at Sco­tia­bank Place.

The line of Fisher, Alex Ko­valev and Mi­lan Michalek ac­counted for all the scor­ing, with Ko­valev scor­ing the other goal while adding two as­sists and Michalek chip­ping in with two as­sists.

“ It’s nice to see those guys score goals,” Sen­a­tors for­ward Ja­son Spezza said. “ They’ve had a lot of chances lately and it’s nice to see them get re­warded.”

The Sen­a­tors ( 11-12-1) ended a twogame los­ing streak, as El­liott made his first start in four games and picked up his sec­ond shutout of the sea­son.

“ El­liott did a great job and made some good saves when he needed to and kept us with that lead,” said Fisher. “ We’re a much bet­ter team when we’re play­ing with the lead. Di­vi­sional games are re­ally im­por­tant and that was a big one for us.”

Jonas Gus­tavs­son made 25 saves in a los­ing ef­fort for the Maple Leafs ( 811-3), who have lost three of their past four games.

Ko­valev opened the scor­ing late in the first pe­riod, col­lect­ing a re­bound and scor­ing on the game’s first pow­er­play op­por­tu­nity.

The Leafs had the best op­por­tu­ni­ties early in the sec­ond pe­riod, but it was two pretty pass­ing plays by the Sen­a­tors that es­sen­tially put the game out of reach.

Ko­valev to Michalek to Fisher gave the Sen­a­tors a 2-0 lead as Fisher waited for Gus­tavs­son to com­mit be­fore slip­ping a back­han­der past the net­min­der at 12: 51 of the pe­riod.

With one minute to go in the frame, Michalek to Fisher to Ko­valev and back to Fisher gave the Sen­a­tors a 3-0 lead as a give-and-go fin­ished up a 2-on-1 with the puck in the net.

“ Those were two of the nicest goals you’ll see all year prob­a­bly from our team,” said Spezza.

Fisher’s goals were just his sec­ond and third in the past 12 games and his first points in four games.

“ When you’re com­ing out of lit­tle slumps and you have one good ( game) where you’re al­most feel­ing it and the next game you’re right there, that’s what hap­pened,” Fisher said.

The Sen­a­tors went into the third pe­riod with a 3-0 lead which qui­eted the thou­sands of Leafs sup­port­ers in the build­ing who were ex­tremely vo­cal all night.

“ I don’t know if I’d call it frus­trat­ing but it’s tough for all of us,” said Gus­tavs­son. “ We had some scor­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties but the puck wasn’t bounc­ing for us. We just have to keep work­ing the same way, try to im­prove my­self and the other guys will do their part.”

NOTES: Leafs defenceman To­mas Kaberle is third on the club’s all-time games played list with 842, two fewer than Dar­ryl Sit­tler and 105 back of Bob Pul­ford... With an av­er­age age of 26 years, the Leafs are the NHL’s youngest team. At 26.1 years, the Los An­ge­les Kings are sec­ond.


Toronto Maple Leafs’ Phil Kes­sel takes a hip check from Ot­tawa Sen­a­tors’ Daniel Al­freds­son Satur­day night.

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