NHL Game Summary - Ottawa at Toronto
(Wednesday, October 4th)
Final Score: Ottawa 4, Toronto 1
Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Patrick Eaves had a goal and an assist and Martin Gerber made 33 saves to lead the Ottawa Senators over the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4-1, in the season-opener for both clubs at Air Canada Centre.
Chris Neil, Christoph Schubert and Daniel Alfredsson also scored for the Senators, who will go for the home-and-home sweep of the Leafs on Thursday night in Ottawa.
Mats Sundin had the lone goal for Toronto, which fell behind by three goals and never got into the game. Andrew Raycroft made 32 saves in a losing effort.
"I liked the way we started the game," said Toronto head coach Paul Maurice. "We had two real good chances early, but I thought that we were fighting the puck the rest of the night."
Maurice was making his head coaching debut with the Leafs.
The Senators went ahead with just 31 seconds remaining in the opening period. After Tom Preissing's initial shot from the right slot was stopped by Raycroft, Eaves one-timed the puck into the net.
A pair of second-period goals increased Ottawa's lead to three goals.
Neil took a pass from Dean McAmmond, skated to the net and beat Raycroft with a backhander under his pads 10:13 into the stanza for a 2-0 lead.
One minute, 16 seconds later Schubert increased the advantage to 3-0 when he gathered a loose puck from the side net and beat Raycroft. Dany Heatley and Eaves recorded assists on the play.
Sundin got the Leafs on the board with 7:59 left in the period when he just barely converted a penalty shot. After being pulled down on a breakaway opportunity, Sundin received the penalty shot. He skated in on Gerber and wristed a shot that found its way through the netminder's legs and slowly slid over the goal line.
"I thought I had a piece of it," said Gerber. "I turn around and it just goes across the line."
Toronto failed to mount any offense after that.
Alfredsson added an empty-net goal with 23 second left in the contest.
"It's always to good to start the year with a win," said Ottawa's Bryan Murray. "We play this team a lot in the next month, so it's good to get a jump on them."
Sundin has 497 career goals...His penalty shot goal was the first for a Leaf since Chad Kilger converted one on March 19, 2006 in a 1-0 win at Pittsburgh...Toronto fell to 42-31-15-1 all-time in home openers and 33-41-14-1 in season openers...Ottawa improved to 7-2-5 in season openers...Prior to the game, Toronto raised the numbers of Clarence Day, Leonard Kelly and Borje Salming to the rafters. The numbers are not retired, just honored...Heatley had two assists in the game...The Senators signed Gerber, who played for the Stanley Cup champions Carolina last season, as a free agent in the offseason...Preissing did not play the third period after suffering a leg injury.
10/04 23:06:37 ET