In the end, Sens fall to Gerber

BRUCE GARRIOCH, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:03 AM ET

TORONTO -- The Senators couldn't win with Martin Gerber and they couldn't win without him.

Gerber, the discarded Senators goalie, turned aside 37 shots in facing his former team for the first time since joining Toronto in March as the Leafs handed Ottawa a 5-2 loss in the last game of the season for both teams.

"I try not to think about it too much. They have a terrific bunch of guys there and they treated me well," said Gerber. "No matter what you say, the first time you play against your old team, you are anxious to play well."

To add to the humiliation of their sad season, the Senators couldn't get winger Dany Heatley his 40th goal of the campaign, but gave up a hat trick to Boyd Devereaux, who doubled his goal output for the season to six.

"Obviously, you want to go out with a win, but we feel confident about the way we played the last little while. We kind of got things turned around and became a team. It's not fun going home right now, but we can be happy about a few things," said centre Mike Fisher.

For the Senators, who will miss the playoffs for the first time in 12 seasons, this was their worst season since 1997-98 when they had 83 pointsbut still made the post-season.

As a result, the Senators will select No. 9 overall at the NHL draft on June 25 in Montreal.

The game lacked energy. Neither team had anything to play for and it looked like it from the drop of the puck. There was little in the way of intensity. The anticipated fights didn't materialize and it looked like both teams just wanted to go home.

"Any time you lose it's disappointing," said Senators coach Cory Clouston. "Overall, no, I'm not disappointed in this group. I'm happy with this group.

"We weren't sharp. We had some chances and we didn't bury them. I thought (Gerber) played very well. We just weren't sharp."

The Senators showed some resiliencey last night, fighting back to tie the game 2-2 on goals by Jason Spezza and Chris Kelly.

For a while, Gerber looked like was going to be perfect. But, like he was on so many nights with the Senators, he was brilliant and then allowed a questionable goal to let the opposition back into. That was certainly the case on Spezza's power-play effort at 9:14.

Caught out of the net trying to retrieve a puck, Gerber wasn't able to get back in time and all Spezza had to do was circle the net for a wraparound to deposit into an open net to cut the Leafs' lead to 2-1.

"(Gerber) played well. He's a good goalie and he's a good teammate as well," said winger Chris Neil. "It's a thing, when he's on, he's on. He's one of the best in the league when he's on."

Elliott couldn't do a lot on the opening goal by Devereaux at 4:59 of the first. The Toronto centre fired a shot from the top of the slot that bounced off Ottawa defenceman Brendan Bell's skate, changed direction and beat Elliott on the stick side.

Senators defenceman Anton Volchenkov, who suffered a arm injury in the first period, played the second, but didn't return for the third.

All that's left for the Senators now is tomorrow's locker cleanup day at Scotiabank Place and then summer vacation begins.


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