Originally created 05/07/02

Senators 3, Maple Leafs 2



OTTAWA -- Patrick Lalime could laugh about losing his shutout by giving up two goals in the final three minutes.

All that mattered is that his Ottawa Senators hung on for a 3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday to take a 2-1 lead in their NHL Eastern Conference semifinal series.

"It made it more exciting," Lalime said with a smile. "Good thing for us is that we had a three-goal lead."

Magnus Arvedson scored twice and Daniel Alfredsson scored the game-winner as 57 minutes of efficient hockey was enough for the Senators' victory.

The Maple Leafs made it close when Gary Roberts scored with 3:16 left, and Travis Green banked in a shot off Ottawa's Radek Bonk in front with 34.5 seconds remaining.

Lalime then came up with two big saves to preserve the victory, stopping Tomas Kaberle's point shot and then diving across the crease to foil Alexander Mogilny's attempt to stuff in the rebound with 12.2 seconds left.

Lalime said he wasn't thinking about a shutout, which would have been his NHL record fifth of the playoffs.

"I just take it as it comes," Lalime said. "All that matters is the win."

Despite the last three minutes, it was a confidence-inducing performance for the composed Senators, who were still kicking themselves for the defensive breakdowns that led to all three goals in Saturday's 3-2 triple-overtime loss.

Monday, the Senators came out strong, limited most of the Maple Leafs' chances to the outside, and were opportunistic on offense.

Arvedson opened the scoring late in the second period, capping a 3-on-2 break, deflecting in Mike Fisher's shot from the right circle.

Havlat played a big role on Arvedson's second goal, with 9:46 remaining. Chasing down a loose puck along the right boards, Havlat cut through middle and fed a cross-ice pass to Arvedson, who one-timed a wicked shot inside the left post.

The Maple Leafs then lost their composure after Alfredsson's goal with 3:35 remaining.

Alfredsson's shot beat Joseph on the glove side, but Joseph was angry at Arvedson, who was pushed into the crease by Toronto's Robert Reichel.

Joseph was among the Maple Leafs who attacked Arvedson behind the Toronto net following the goal.

Toronto's Tie Domi took offense to the play, even after it was pointed out that Arvedson was pushed into Joseph.

"You have to avoid it. That's the call," Domi said. "Maybe at the time, you didn't think it was going to be a big deal. But it ended up being their biggest goal and cost us the game."

The Maple Leafs showed they still had some fight left, but it was too little way too late.

"You get down three to that team, it's a tough team to come back on," Green said. "Obviously we didn't generate enough of what we wanted to tonight."

For Arvedson, who has scored 76 regular-season goals, the two scores were his first in 30 career playoff games.

"It gets you guys off of my back," Arvedson said to a group of reporters. "I don't go home and think about it really much. I relax and I play my game."

Curiously, Fisher was initially credited with the Senators' first goal until a replay showed the puck hit off Arvedson's stick.

"If somebody saw it on the video and gave me the goal, it's OK," Arvedson said. "I'm just so happy that our line played good tonight."

Notes The Leafs welcomed back RW Mikael Renberg, who missed seven games with a pulled hamstring, and D Cory Cross, who missed eight games with a strained abdominal muscle. Leafs D Jyrki Lumme also played despite sustaining a slight concussion in Game 2. ... Arvedson's first goal was the first in more than two home playoff games against Toronto; Joseph shut out the Senators twice at the Corel Center in last year's first-round series. ... Toronto D Bryan McCabe, who logged a game-high 52 minutes, 42 seconds of ice time in Saturday's triple-overtime victory, is averaging 31:06 of ice time this postseason.