Gerber saves the day

The Ottawa Senators celebrate their season-opening win over the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night in...

The Ottawa Senators celebrate their season-opening win over the Maple Leafs on Wednesday night in Toronto. (Toronto Sun/Craig Robertson)

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 10:20 AM ET

TORONTO -- Martin Gerber wasn't just good last night. He was great. So great that Senators coach Bryan Murray had to backtrack on a statement he made the other day.

Thanks to Gerber's heroics, the Senators skated to a 4-1 win over the Maple Leafs in their season opener last night.

"I admit I was wrong the other day," said Murray. "He was phenomenal. I know I said he wasn't that type of goalie, but he was (last night) and that's why I really think he's going to be a stabilizing factor for this team.

"I know what I said and that was so blown out of proportion by you guys, but I guess that's what you do. I just think we saw what Martin Gerber can do for this team. He played great and gave us a chance until we settle down."

Patrick Eaves, Chris Neil, Daniel Alfredsson and Christoph Schubert scored for the Senators. Only Mats Sundin, knocked down on a second-period breakaway by Anton Volchenkov, was able to score on Gerber -- on a penalty shot.

"You want to get off to a good start when you are playing for a new team and we didn't quite come out the way we wanted," said Gerber, who made 33 stops. "That's a good win for us. Now we have to move forward because we've got another big game (tonight)."

The Senators and Leafs hook up again tonight -- at Scotiabank Place.

Ottawa will be forced to call up a defenceman from Binghamton -- likely veteran Jamie Allison -- for tonight's rematch after losing Tom Preissing with what the club described as a lower body injury in the second period.

Five minutes into the first period, it could have easily been 3-0 for Toronto.

"I thought they were going to be the ones sluggish because they stood through the whole opening ceremonies, but they came at us hard," said Murray.

Gerber made point-blank stops on Alexei Ponikarovsky, Kyle Wellwood and Alexander Slugobov.

"(Gerber) made some big stops and that gave us time to get into the game," said Alfredsson. "Had it not been for him the result could have definitely been different."

Toronto goalie Andrew Raycroft, solid for most of the night, didn't look good on the third goal by Schubert.


Videos

Photos