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Ottawa Senators goaltender Ray Emery makes a save while his teammate, Chris Kelly, keeps close contact with Toronto Maple Leafs left-winger Jeff O’Neill during a game earlier this season. The Senators visit the Maple Leafs tonight. Photo: P. MacCallum/Getty Images/NHLI



Ray Emery is playing some of his best hockey of the season. Not coincidentally, so are the Ottawa Senators.

Emery goes for his third consecutive shutout and the Senators try to push their winning streak to four games overall as they play their provincial archrivals, the Toronto Maple Leafs, at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

The 24-year-old netminder is riding back-to-back shutouts for the first time in his career following Ottawa's 1-0 Friday win over the New York Rangers. Emery made 23 of his 27 saves in the final two periods, and the Senators (20-18-1) successfully killed off six penalties, including a charging major assessed to Chris Neil.

"It's pretty cool," said Emery, whose scoreless streak is 141 minutes and 10 seconds. "I've never done it in this league before and it's been a long time since I've done it at all. It definitely helps the stats out."

With leading scorer Jason Spezza and second-line center Mike Fisher both out indefinitely due to injuries, the Senators have taken a more defensive-minded approach and won the last two games despite totaling only three goals.

Ottawa is scoring 3.15 goals per game this season.

"I thought we battled hard all night long, we got into some penalty trouble early but we did some good things and Ray played real well," said Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson, whose goal 32 seconds into the game accounted for the scoring.

Alfredsson, who incurs the wrath of the crowd with every touch of the puck in Toronto, has just one point in four games against the Maple Leafs this season after totaling eight goals and nine assists in the eight games between the Northeast Division rivals in 2005-06.

The veteran has 18 goals and 44 points in 45 lifetime contests versus Toronto.

The Maple Leafs (17-17-5) are trying to snap out of a slump that has seen them lose four of their last five games, including a 4-1 defeat to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday. The Leafs yet again suffered a third period collapse.

Ottawa has won three of the four games between the teams this season and outscored Toronto 13-4 in a home-and-home sweep on Oct. 24 and 26. The Leafs have lost five of their last six to the Senators at the Air Canada Centre, getting outscored 26-12 in those games.

Ottawa has won three of the four games between the teams this season and outscored Toronto 13-4 in a home-and-home sweep on Oct. 24 and 26. The Leafs have lost five of their last six to the Senators at the Air Canada Centre, getting outscored 26-12 in those games.

The Sens are currently 2 points in front of the leafs in the division standings.

Hopefully the Sens can notch a 4th straight win v.s the leafs.:D
 

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Senators rally to beat Leafs in overtime

Canadian Press
12/30/2006 9:56:57 PM


TORONTO (CP) - Chris Phillips scored 2:39 into overtime Saturday night as the Ottawa Senators rallied for a 3-2 win over the rival Toronto Maple Leafs.

Phillips one-timed a pass from Dany Heatley on a two-on-one break just inside the post along the ice on Andrew Raycroft, the Senators' bench emptying in jubilation after yet another win over the Leafs.

Ottawa improved to 4-1-0 against Toronto this season and an amazing 11-2-0 since the lockout ended.

The Leafs appeared cooled out and headed home with a 2-1 lead thanks to Boyd Devereaux's first goal as a Leaf with 6:20 left in the third period. But Chris Kelly, standing alone in front of the net, silenced the Air Canada Centre when he banged home a pass from the corner from Wade Redden with 2:06 left in the third.

Ray Emery made 43 saves and was named the game's first star, continuing his brilliant goaltending after posting back-to-back shutouts.

Alexander Steen also scored for the Leafs (17-17-6), who have won only four of their last 16 games.

Dean McAmmond also scored for the Senators (21-18-1), who moved three points ahead of the Leafs in the standings.

The Battle of Ontario might as well have been renamed the Battle of the Wounded for this night with the Senators deprived of their top two centres in Jason Spezza (knee) and Mike Fisher (knee), while the Leafs were once again without forwards Darcy Tucker (bruised foot), Kyle Wellwood (groin/hip), Alexei Ponikarvosky (shoulder), Nik Antropov (ankle sprain) and of course former Selke Trophy winner Michael Peca (broken leg), who's out for the year.

Steen opened the scoring with 1:06 left in the first period, one-timing a pass in the slot from Jeff O'Neill on a Leafs power play. That ended Emery's shutout streak at 149 minutes 42 seconds. He stopped 70 consecutive shots before Steen beat him.

FULL STORY
 
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