- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

TORONTO (AP) - Martin Gerber made 37 saves against his former team and helped the Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 on Saturday night in the final game of the season for both clubs.

With the Maple Leafs and Senators long out of playoff contention, this was no Battle of Ontario. But it was a big victory for Gerber, who started the season with Ottawa before being claimed off waivers by Toronto last month.

It was also a big night for Boyd Devereaux, who scored three goals for Toronto (33-35-13). Niklas Hagman netted the other two for the Maple Leafs.

Jason Spezza and Chris Kelly scored for the Senators (36-34-11), who missed the playoffs two years after reaching the Stanley Cup finals.

There was little on the line beyond pride, although a regulation loss by the Maple Leafs would have given them an outside chance at landing the No. 1 pick in the June draft.

With the game tied 2-2 early in the third period, Hagman put the Maple Leafs ahead for good when he beat Brian Elliott from the slot.

A late power play gave Ottawa a chance for the tying goal, but Devereaux swooped in while the Maple Leafs were short-handed and roofed a backhander to complete his hat trick.

A few hats were thrown on the ice while teammate Matt Stajan retrieved the puck. It was quite an end to the season for a guy who spent most of it in the American Hockey League.

Toronto had already hit two posts when Devereaux made it 1-0 at 4:59 of the first period.

The Senators responded with plenty of energy, but were unable to beat Gerber with any of their 16 shots in the period. Dany Heatley had two of the best chances _ he couldn’t make much of a move on a partial breakaway early in the frame but got all of a one-timer that Gerber stopped with his pad.

Another goal by Devereaux early in the second period made it 2-0. He hammered Lee Stempniak’s pass past Elliott at 4:48.

Gerber was rolling along at the other end until a couple of gaffes behind the goal allowed Ottawa to tie it 2-2.

Spezza stole the puck from Gerber before coming around the net and sliding it into the empty net for his 32nd goal at 9:14. Just under 2 1/2 minutes later, Gerber’s pass to defenseman Ian White ended up on Kelly’s stick and then into the back of the net.

Ottawa finished 11th in the Eastern Conference, one spot ahead of the Maple Leafs. The last time there wasn’t an NHL playoff game played in Ontario, in years when the postseason was contested, was in 1992.

Notes:@ Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson sat out due to a sore back. … AHL callup Tim Stapleton was in the Maple Leafs lineup. Nikolai Kulemin (foot) and Jeff Hamilton (healthy) sat out.

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