NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Toronto
(Thursday, January 8th)
Final Score: Ottawa 7, Toronto 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Bryan Smolinski recorded a goal and two assists in a five-goal Ottawa first period, as the Senators cruised to a 7-1 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
Chris Neil, Wade Redden, Radek Bonk and Jason Spezza also scored goals in the opening stanza for Ottawa, which has now won six games in a row and is undefeated in its last 11 decisions (9-0-2). The Senators have outscored their opponents 42-16 over the 11-game span.
Martin Prusek earned the win by stopping 34 Toronto shots, and Martin Havlat and Redden also chipped in with third-period goals. Prusek is 8-1 in his last nine starts.
Ken Klee scored the Leafs' only goal and Trevor Kidd was rocked for the five first-period goals on 13 shots, as the Maple Leafs had a three-game unbeaten streak (2-1-1) snapped. Kidd made 23 saves in the game.
The Leafs were missing seven regulars, and it obviously cost them. Six players, including regular goaltender Ed Belfour, who is out with a groin strain, missed the contest due to injury. The seventh was captain Mats Sundin, who sat because of a one-game suspension he earned for throwing a broken stick into the stands during Tuesday's game against Nashville.
Ottawa's first goal came 2:20 into the contest, when Neil picked up a loose puck in the slot, spun around, and blistered a close-range shot past a surprised Kidd. It was Neil's fourth tally of the season.
Redden found the back of the net just over two minutes later with a wrister from the left point. Smolinski popped the puck out of a scrum in the slot, and it found its way to Redden.
At the 6:37 mark, Bonk pounded a rebound of a shot by Antoine Vermette into a gaping net, and only 12 seconds later, Smolinski scored his 10th goal of the season. Smolinski was driving toward the net, took a feed from Martin Havlat and deked Kidd down, beating him with a backhand.
The fifth tally of the first period was Spezza's 14th goal of the season. Six minutes after the Smolinski goal, nifty passing from Havlat to Smolinski on the left side of the net left Kidd scrambling and Spezza all alone in the slot. Spezza couldn't miss the wide-open net and gave the Senators a 5-0 lead.
Ottawa's outburst came during a 10:34 span, marking the fastest five unanswered goals in Ottawa history.
Toronto put 13 shots on net in each of the first two periods, but couldn't solve Prusek. Finally, the Leafs beat the Ottawa netminder on the power play after Shane Hnidy was given a double-minor for high-sticking Darcy Tucker.
Klee ripped a shot from the right point with a little more than five minutes gone in the third for the only Toronto marker of the contest.
But Havlat responded four minutes later. He camped out to the right side of the net, waiting for Spezza to corral the rebound of a Redden shot on the left side. Spezza carried the puck behind the net and fed an unattended Havlat, who calmly deposited the puck past a sliding Kidd.
Redden scored his 10th goal of the season with less than 10 minutes to go, on the power play, to cap the scoring.
Ottawa's record for most goals in a period is six, set March 21, 2000 in a 7-1 win over the Atlanta Thrashers. The Senators' record for fastest back-to-back goals is 10 seconds, set on October 19, 1995 in a 4-2 triumph over Calgary...This matched Toronto's worst loss at the Air Canada Centre, as it dropped a 7-1 decision to Philadelphia on November 1. That was the last loss for the Leafs at home in regulation before Thursday...Toronto is 11-3-2-2 at home this season, while Ottawa is 9-3-2-1 on the road...Ottawa had 12 of its 18 skaters record at least one point...The five first-period goals were the most given up by Toronto in any period this season...The Senators also scored five goals in the second period against Carolina on October 20...The Senators have gone 21 straight games without allowing more than three goals, matching the New Jersey Devils streak from earlier in the season for the longest such string in the NHL this year.
01/08 22:35:07 ET