Senators sweep season series against Leafs with 4-0 win
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) The Ottawa Senators knew anything less than a win would be unacceptable Saturday night.
Craig Anderson made 29 saves for his fourth shutout of the season and the Ottawa Senators beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 on Saturday night to sweep the season series.
It's just the second time Ottawa has swept the Battle of Ontario when the teams have played at least three times, Elias told the NHL. The other came in 2000-01, when the Senators went 5-0-0 against Toronto.
The win also snapped a three-game skid for Ottawa, including an ugly 6-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
''The way we lost last game we knew it was a big one,'' Zack Smith said. ''It was a character test. It's obviously not over yet. We have to keep performing like that, but it was definitely a step in the right direction.''
Mika Zibanejad, Cody Ceci, Smith and Mark Stone scored for the Senators. Jean-Gabriel Pageau added three assists.
''Much better game management, puck management,'' Ottawa coach Dave Cameron said. ''The only thing (Saturday) that I would have liked to seen more of was shots at the net. I still thought we passed up too many shots looking for the grade-A chance, but overall happy with our puck management, game management and what we limited Toronto to.''
Garret Sparks, making his third straight start for the Leafs, stopped 13 shots. Sparks used to work for Anderson at his goaltending school in Chicago.
''I didn't think we were competitive enough,'' Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. ''I thought they were ready to go in the first period and obviously the first two shifts of the second and the third we gave up goals.
''I don't think we made it very hard on Anderson at all.''
Despite the number of new faces on the young Toronto roster, a good portion of the 18,557 on hand at Canadian Tire Centre were cheering for the Maple Leafs.
Ottawa opened the scoring and dominated for the better part of the game.
Leading 2-0 to start the third, Smith scored his 21st of the season when he picked up a loose puck out front and roofed it. Smith has six goals and three assists in his past eight games.
Stone made it 4-0 at 15:21 after he initiated the play with a steal at center and then took a great feed from Pageau for an easy goal.
Ceci gave the Senators a 2-0 lead 19 seconds into the second off a give-and-go with Stone to beat Sparks off his backhand.
Stone now has two goals and four assists in his past five games.
Ottawa opened the scoring at the 5-minute mark. Mike Hoffman fed Zibanejad a great pass, and he then faked a slap shot and beat Sparks through the legs.
NOTES: LW Matt Puempel and D Patrick Wiercioch were healthy scratches for the Senators. LW Milan Michalek and C Colin Greening made their first appearance in Ottawa since being traded to Toronto on Feb. 9. Toronto's Rinat Valiev made his NHL debut. ... Toronto hosts the Red Wings on Sunday night. ... The Senators play at Minnesota on Tuesday night.