Hasek unbeatable as Senators crumple Leafs
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Dominik Hasek posted his 67th career
shutout and Ottawa’s high-powered offense kicked into gear to
crush the struggling Toronto Maple Leafs 7-0 on Saturday.
Hasek, who turns 41 on January 29, made 23 saves for his
fourth shutout of the season, moving him into 12th place ahead
of Patrick Roy on the NHL’s all-time list.
Daniel Alfredsson and Mike Fisher each scored twice for the
Senators in front of a record 20,093 crowd at the newly named
Scotiabank Place. Ottawa also moved to the top of the NHL
standings with the win over their bitter rivals.
“Tonight they were missing some key guys and we know how it
is when you don’t have confidence,” Alfredsson told reporters
after the game. “We could tell they are a struggling team.
“But I’m happy with the way our team played. Maybe we
haven’t consistency but we had a good game tonight.”
Once again the Senators top line of Dany Heatley, Jason
Spezza and Alfredsson feasted on the Maple Leafs, each
collecting three points on the night.
Alfredsson opened the scoring with his 28th of the season
just 39 seconds into the opening period. Heatley scored his
31st and Peter Schaefer also found the net to give Ottawa a
healthy 3-0 lead heading into the first intermission.
Spezza, Alfredsson and Fisher all tallied in the second
period to put the game out of reach for the Leafs, who were
missing defenseman Bryan Mcabe, and forwards Eric Lindros and
Darcy Tucker due to injuries.
Fisher had the third period’s only goal to close out the
The Battle of Ontario has been one-sided all season, with
the Sens now having won all five meetings and out-scoring the
Leafs 23-2 in the last three games.
The Leafs have lost five straight, their longest losing
streak since dropping seven in a row in 1997.
The teams meet again in Ottawa on Monday.
In East Rutherford, Zach Parise’s shootout goal earned New
Jersey a 3-2 decision over the New York Islanders, extending
their winning streak to nine games.
Sergei Brylin and Patrik Elias scored in regulation for the
surging Devils, who are unbeaten in 2006 and improved to 11-5
under general manager and interim coach Lou Lamoriello.
New York has been unable to find similar inspiration under
their interim coach, falling to 2-3 since Brad Shaw replaced
sacked Steve Stirling behind the Islanders bench.
In Pittsburgh, Robert Esche made 32 saves in his return
from a 17-game injury layoff leading the Philadelphia Flyers to
a 2-1 victory over the faltering Penguins.
Jeff Carter and R.J. Umberger each had a goal in the win
and newly acquired Petr Nedved picked up an assist.
The Penguins slumped to their ninth consecutive defeat,
matching the nine game losing skid they had to open the season.
(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto)