Anderson saves Sens from basement

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 9:22 AM ET

TORONTO — Freshly acquired goalie Craig Anderson made 50 saves in his debut as a Senator.

He stopped 43 shots through three periods, four in overtime and two in the shootout.

He also saved the Senators from the NHL basement.

Anderson posted Ottawa’s second shutout of the season, a 1-0 shootout victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs, Saturday night at the Air Canada Centre.

A regulation loss would have slipped the Senators into 30th place behind the Edmonton Oilers, who won earlier in the day.

Jason Spezza scored the shootout winner for the Senators, giving Anderson all the help he would need.

The Leafs had a power-play opportunity in the overtime when Filip Kuba hauled down Darryl Boyce. It resulted in Anderson’s most spectacular pad stops on rapid fire, in-close chances by Phil Kessel.

The Leafs sniper, who had a total of seven shots on goal, slammed his stick on the top of the boards in frustration.

Anderson, who won his debut as a Florida Panther (3-2) and his first game as a Colorado Avalanche (5-2), turned in a virtuoso performance — using every part of his body, including a face save off a deflected shot in the second.

The Senators put just 22 pucks on Leafs goalie James Reimer through three periods.

Entering the game, Alex Kovalev had the only shootout goal in 11 tries for the Senators this season.

While lacking offensive fireworks, this Battle of Ontario was a physical one. Chris Neil was particularly abusive to Leafs, while Dion Phaneuf and Luke Schenn delivered a number of solid checks for Toronto.

The injury-riddled Senators lost yet another man when Peter Regin left the game with an apparent left shoulder injury went he was knocked into the boards by Joey Crabb in the third.

There was no update on his status at the end of the game.

Other than the goaltending of Anderson, the highlight of the first 40 minutes was a second-period scrap between Binghamton callup Francis Lessard and Leafs enforcer Jay Rosehill. Both fired off more than a dozen punches in what every scorecard would have to show as a draw.

The Senators, particularly Jason Spezza, literally passed up on too many chances while trailing 30-15 on the shot clock heading into the final frame.

In the first period, Anderson stopped all 13 shots he faced, while the Senators directed just five at Leafs goalie James Reimer. It was the Senators who came closest to breaking the ice, however. 

An early chance by the line of Erik Condra-Zack Smith-Chris Neil — Ottawa’s best of the night — saw Reimer close the short side on Condra only to have a diving Neil push the puck in after it had settled under the goalie’s pad. 

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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