Senators set up game seven showdown

Posted: Monday, April 19, 2004

OTTAWA (AP) Daniel Alfredsson delivered on the first part of his guarantee. Now he and the Ottawa Senators have a chance to fulfill their promise.

Mike Fisher scored 1:47 into double overtime to give Ottawa a 2-1 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Sunday night and force a seventh and deciding game in the first-round playoff series.

The Senators have been eliminated from the playoffs by the Maple Leafs in three of the past four years. Game 7 is Tuesday night in Toronto.

Following a 2-0 loss in Game 5 on Friday, Alfredsson the Senators captain guaranteed his club would win Games 6 and 7.

''I don't think you've seen the last of us yet (in Toronto),'' Alfredsson said following a closed-door meeting. ''We're going to go home, win, and force Game 7. Then we'll come back in here and we'll win the series.''

Fisher made Alfredsson's promise come true when he redirected Antoine Vermette's pass across the crease into a wide-open left side, setting off a wild celebration.

Toronto seemed determined to prevent that after Maple Leafs defenseman Bryan McCabe scored during a five-on-three power play 4:14 in.

The Senators were stifled by goalie Ed Belfour until Zdeno Chara scored the tying goal 4:55 into the third period.

Moments after the 6-foot-9 defenseman flattened Joe Nieuwendyk with a big open ice hit in Toronto's zone, Chara circled behind the Maple Leafs net. He spun around as he approached the left circle and put a wrist shot past Belfour, just inside the left post.

He pumped his fist repeatedly while the sellout crowd of 18,500 erupted in cheers. The goal ended Belfour's shutout streak at 116 minutes, 55 seconds.

The Senators hadn't put a goal past Belfour since Chris Phillips scored eight minutes into the third period of Ottawa's 4-1 win in Game 4. Belfour recorded his third shutout of the series in a 2-0 win Friday.

Belfour also held the Senators scoreless for 157:45 earlier in the series while recording shutouts in Games 2 and 3.

Alfredsson had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory in Game 4 after guaranteeing the Senators would not be shut out in three straight games. He also promised earlier this season that the Senators would win the Stanley Cup, though he didn't specify when.

Maple Leafs center Mats Sundin missed his second straight game because of a left ankle injury sustained in Game 4.

Toronto missed an opportunity to win it in the last minute of regulation. Senators center Todd White swiped away a loose puck before Alexei Ponikarovsky could reach it in front of an open net.

Notes: Senators C Jason Spezza was out of the lineup for the third time in the series. Spezza, who also didn't dress for the first two games in Toronto, failed to record a point in the three games he played. ... Ottawa had lost its four previous playoff overtime games against the Maple Leafs. ... The penalties to Peter Bondra and Greg de Vries that gave Toronto its two-man advantage were the only infractions called against the Senators.

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