Sigh of re-Leaf

BRUCE GARRIOCH -- Ottawa Sun

, Last Updated: 3:24 PM ET


 Finally! Goals ... and plenty of them.

 Led by captain Daniel Alfredsson, the Senators figured out Maple Leafs goalie Ed Belfour.

 Alfredsson, who said Belfour couldn't shut down the Senators three straight games, had a two-point night in a 4-1 Ottawa victory at a packed Corel Centre.

 Winger Marian Hossa blasted the winner by Belfour, while Todd White and Chris Phillips also scored goals as the Senators tied the playoff series 2-2, with Game 5 tomorrow night in Toronto.

 The news was bad for the Leafs off the ice, too. After being tripped by Wade Redden on a breakaway in the third period, Toronto captain Mats Sundin was forced out of the game with what appeared to be a left knee injury. Sundin later walked out of the building without crutches.

 Earlier in the day, centre Joe Nieuwendyk headed back to Toronto with an apparent back injury.

 "We knew with the chances that we were getting that the odds were in our favour to score," said Alfredsson, who scored on a backhander at 19:24 of the first period to end the Senators' goalless drought at 157 minutes and 45 seconds.

 "We knew that we were playing really well and we had to do the things it takes to score goals. We had to get traffic in front and we had to try and make sure Belfour didn't see the puck. We knew we would get the results sooner or later."

 The Senators got those results in a big way. The atmosphere was electric from the drop of the puck. Gary Roberts opened the scoring, but the Senators kept pressing and eventually took control.

 Hossa, who was stopped on a breakaway, later ended his frustration when he fired a bullet past Belfour at 13:15 of the second period.

 "It felt good to get that one," said Hossa, who had six shots. "I was frustrated. You don't let it bother you because you've just got to keep working for your chances to score."

 Belfour made big stops despite allowing four goals. Ottawa outshot the Leafs for the fourth straight game -- 36-24. The Senators have fired 134 shots at Belfour in the series while Patrick Lalime has faced only 84.

 But Lalime had to be sharp as well, making 23 stops last night. He prevented the Leafs from taking a 2-0 lead with a huge save off Nik Antropov in the first period.

 "If there was any doubt in Patrick Lalime before these playoffs, none of it was coming from this room," said Curtis Leschyshyn. "We all believe in Patrick Lalime and we like playing in front of him. We knew he was going to stand tall."

 The Senators know there's still a large task at hand -- get two more wins in this series.

 "This doesn't change anything as far as the series goes," said Phillips. "The only difference is that our dressing room is probably a little bit happier than the Leafs' dressing room right now.

 "We can feel good about ourselves for a while, but we have to get back to work (today)."


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