Ottawa forces Game 7 in Toronto

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.

"I think people questioned our pride and our character,"

Fisher said. "We didn't have a great Game 5 when we needed one. We

bounced back and we were able to get a big win, but we still have a

lot to prove in Game 7. It's going to be huge for us."

The Senators, who came within one win of reaching the Stanley

Cup finals last season before losing to eventual champion New

Jersey, have been eliminated from the playoffs by the Maple Leafs

in three of four years.

"We've been playing some good hockey up until Game 5, which

wasn't our best effort," Alfredsson said. "We knew we could

rebound well from that because we've done it all year long. Tonight

we got a great effort from everybody which got us a chance to play

in Game 7."

The series finale is Tuesday night in Toronto.

"Our crowd will be with us," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said.

"Hopefully, we'll be a bit better than we were tonight."

Following a 2-0 loss Friday which put Ottawa on the brink of

elimination, 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.

"It happened so fast that I'd have to see it again to visualize

it," Fisher said.

Vermette, held out of the lineup the previous three games,

recorded his first point of the series.

"Our captain said big things and that's something that brings

you closer as a team," Vermette said. "It's not just one player.

Daniel played a great game, and the guys wanted to play hard and

come up with some character and passion. That was one key tonight.

We didn't give up."

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 Maple Leafs 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 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.

"I thought we had good energy from the start," Senators coach

Jacques Martin said. "But there's no doubt it gave us a big


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.

"We didn't think it was going to be easy, by any means,"

McCabe said. "We worked hard. We came up on the short end, but

we're confident and we're in a great spot heading home for Game


Alfredsson had a goal and an assist in a 4-1 victory in Game 4

after guaranteeing the Senators would not be shut out 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. His status for

Game 7 is still undecided.

"I don't know at this point," Quinn said. "I'd still say

probably doubtful."

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.

"We had big chances and missed," Quinn said. "It would have

been nice to have had those."

Game notes
Vermette replaced C Jason Spezza, who was out of the

Senators' 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. D Ken Klee had two of Toronto's four minor penalties.

Referees Kerry Fraser and Kevin Pollock called no penalties after

McCabe was sent off for cross-checking at 12:04 of the second.