Marian Hossa scored twice and the Senators beat the Maple Leafs
4-2 on Thursday night.
The Senators will try to grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven
series on Saturday before returning to Ottawa for Games 3 and 4.
"We said that we wanted to win one game here and we did,"
Hossa said. "It's huge."
Bryan Smolinski and Wade Redden also scored for the Senators,
who are playing the rival Maple Leafs in the playoffs for the
fourth time in five years. Ottawa, which held a 30-17 shots
advantage, was eliminated by Toronto the three previous series.
"You don't win the series in the first game. I've seen in the
past where other teams come into the visiting building and say they
just want to win one game, but now we want to win a second game,"
Martin Havlat had two assists for the Senators, who came within
one win of reaching the Stanley Cup finals last season.
"They were just better than us," Toronto captain Mats Sundin
said. "We took some penalties, we were undisciplined at times."
Toronto's Calle Johansson and McCabe received penalties before
Redden tied it 2-2 at 10:02 of the second period. Hossa scored the
go-ahead goal just 38 seconds later.
Redden scored his goal on a one-timer. Then, Hossa skated in and
sent a shot off goalie Ed Belfour's chest before putting the
rebound past him.
"We were in the box the whole night. You can't create offense
when you're killing penalties," McCabe said.
After Johansson tripped and turned over the puck early in the
third, Hossa came in on a breakaway and scored after Belfour skated
out of the net and tripped him. Hossa wasn't deterred, and he put
the puck into an open net as he slid past Belfour.
"I missed the puck, and he just made a nice play," Belfour
Senators goalie Patrick Lalime looked sharp after missing the
final four games of the regular season because of a strained left
Lalime said he felt good.
"Now that we have one we want the next one as well," Lalime
said. "We know it's going to be tougher than tonight. We'll have
to play a lot better."
Nieuwendyk opened the scoring just three minutes in after Alexei
Ponikarovsky made a nifty pass to a streaking Nik Antropov, for a
Smolinski tied it after his pass went off Toronto defenseman
Bryan Marchment's skate and in at 5:05 of the first.
McCabe's one-timer from the blue line gave Toronto a 2-1 lead on
the power play at 18:33 of the first, but Ottawa scored the game's
final three goals.
Senators backup G Martin Prusek, who has no playoff
experience in his two-year NHL career, would've started if Lalime
couldn't. ... Toronto scored two goals on just four shots in the
first period. ... Ottawa went 2-for-8 on the power play, and
Toronto was 1-for-3. ... A fan jumped over the boards and ran onto
the ice in the third. ... Johansson started despite playing just
eight games since coming out of retirement on March 9.