Alfie saves Sens' day

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

TORONTO -- With the game on the line, the captain came through ... and made history, too.

Daniel Alfredsson scored twice and then again in a shootout as the Senators scored the NHL's first-ever shootout win, 3-2 over the Maple Leafs last night.

Dany Heatley beat Ed Belfour for the game-winner in the shootout -- Toronto's Jason Allison and Eric Lindros were both stopped by Senators goalie Dominik Hasek.

"It's nice way to win, but I'm sure it's also a frustrating way to lose," said Alfredsson, who was shifted into a spot alongside Heatley and Jason Spezza as rookie Brandon Bochenski was removed from the line in the third period.

"I would think they're sitting over there right now and they're not happy with the way they lost the game.

"We got the two points. We found a way to win. I hadn't scored in any of the shootouts in the pre-season, but the puck was going in for me. I felt confident going in there. I just wanted to make my best effort."

Had it not been for Alfredsson's effort, the result may have been all too familiar to Ottawa fans. Alfredsson tied the game at 18:58 of the third, just minutes after Lindros had given his club the lead.

That's when coach Bryan Murray started thinking about which shooters he might use. Murray said Heatley told him he would score if given the chance.

"We didn't play our best game, but we got the job done," said Heatley. "We have to learn some lessons from that and move forward because it wasn't our best performance. We definitely have to better against Buffalo Saturday."

Hasek, who was making his first start since Dec. 8, 2003, was solid in the net after giving up a soft goal to Bryan McCabe in the first and he stopped both Toronto shooters when it counted the most.

Actually, the game probably shouldn't have gotten to overtime.

Senators GM John Muckler told the Sun he'll be making a call to NHL VP Colin Campbell today because a shot by Bryan Smolinski that appeared to go into the net wasn't counted as a goal.

"I just can't believe in this day and age that didn't count as a goal," said Murray. "They told us this wouldn't happen. We're here in the Air Canada Centre, where the league offices are situated with the war room and we don't get a goal that should have counted. I'm going to need an explanation."

The victory will make people forget what was, at times, a horrible performance by the Senators.

How bad was it? The Senators had just shot on Belfour in the second period. That came with only 2:40 remaining and tied a club record the Senators have set eight times -- the last came Dec. 8, 2003 in a 2-2 tie with the Bruins in Boston.

The Maple Leafs played most of the game without Mats Sundin, who left after getting hit with a puck in the eye area. But Lindros stepped up, delivering several big hits.

"We didn't play our best game, but we got the win," said Spezza.

And in the new NHL, that may be about all that counts.


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