Maple Leafs shut out Senators
Vesa Toskala kicked out 31 shots as the Toronto Maple Leafs blanked the host Ottawa Senators 5-0 on Monday night.
It was Toskala's third shutout this season.
Defenceman Tomas Kaberle preserved the shutout in the final minute, falling to his knees to stop a point-blank shot from Mike Fisher.
"It [the puck] was just sitting there, so you have to go on your knees to try to block it," Kaberle said.
Toronto had struggled at Scotiabank Place, losing three games in a row, four of five and eight of 10.
"It was totally embarrassing to play and get beat like that," Senators head coach John Paddock said. "The whole scenario does not make sense."
Darcy Tucker posted two goals and one assist to lead the Maple Leafs (27-28-9).
Mats Sundin, Pavel Kubina and Dominic Moore had the other goals.
"We have got a fuller, healthier lineup, Vesa has played great for us in net, and our defence has played well and given us an opportunity to win every night," Tucker said. "That is, obviously, the team everyone expects us to be."
Sundin, the franchise leader in goals (414) and points (972), was the subject of trade rumours until he confirmed late Sunday that he won't waive the no-trade clause in his contract.
"I cannot leave my teammates and join another NHL club at this time," Sundin said. "I have never believed in the concept of a rental player."
Matt Stajan provided three assists, and Jason Blake two.
"We just got spanked," Senators defenceman Mike Commodore said. "But you cannot sit here and dwell on it."
Emery yanked early
The Senators (36-21-6), who trail the New Jersey Devils by one point atop the Eastern Conference standings, offered Ray Emery little defensive support.
Emery yielded five goals on 21 shots before being yanked in favour of backup goaltender Martin Gerber, who stopped six shots.
"I don't care how they played," Maple Leafs defenceman Bryan McCabe said. "We have got a little something going here and it's nice to see, so how about a little credit for the way we played?
"We seem to always be top-five in man games lost, so that does not help us at all. It's nice to have a healthy team now going forward and this is the real Maple Leafs team."
Sundin opened the scoring with a power-play goal 8:19 into the contest, positioning himself at the right goalpost to redirect Kaberle's pass for his team-high 26th goal of the season.
It remained 1-0 until Tucker tallied his 13th on a screen shot from the slot, a power-play goal at 6:21 of the second period.
A little over two minutes later, Tucker led the rush into the offensive zone, circled back and passed the puck to Kubina, who potted his sixth on a wrist shot from the point.
Tucker then spied a loose puck in the crease, pulled it to his forehand and scored his second power-play goal of the game and 14th overall at the 12:14 mark.
Moore completed the carnage with 2:25 remaining in the period, bursting toward the net and beating Emery with a backhand deke for his fourth.
With files from the Canadian Press