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Senators Stay Undefeated

Radek Bonk is doing his best to make up for the absence of holdout Alexei Yashin.

Bonk scored a power-play goal and assisted on defenseman Wade Redden's winning goal in the Ottawa Senators' 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night.

"I'm happy to be able to help the team win some games. It's the best start of my career," said Bonk, whose three goals and four assists have helped the Senators set a club record with a 4-0-0 start.

"We're great as a team, working hard. Alexei was our best player, so everybody has to step up their game."

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  • Yashin, who had 44 goals and 94 points last season, has one year remaining on his contract at $3.6 million. He has asked for an extension of $11 million for next season and $12 million in 2001-02.

    While Yashin sits out, Bonk has become the team's top scoring threat.

    "What we're seeing has been developing over time," Ottawa assistant coach Perry Pearn said. "He got much better last year and has picked up where he left off. It's all about confidence."

    Daniel Alfredsson and Andre Roy, with his first NHL goal, also scored for Ottawa.

    Jonas Hoglund, Sergei Berezin and Todd Warriner scored for Toronto, which was outshot 50-23 before a sellout crowd of 18,500 at the Corel Centre.

    "There was no space out there. Ottawa was in our face all night," Toronto coach Pat Quinn said. "We wee embarrassed. I don't know about embarrassed, but we were beaten in all phases of the game. We played a lousy game."

    The last time the teams met, last April 8, Ottawa won 3-1 at home to clinch the Northeast Division title.

    The Leafs have yet to win at the Corel Centre and have not won in their last six visits to Ottawa, dating to a 4-1 victory at the Ottawa Civic Centre on Feb. 28, 1994.

    The Leafs failed in their 20th straight attempt to win four consecutive games, also going back to February 1994.

    "We battled back, but it didn't happen," said Leafs center Alyn McCauley, playing his first game since March 3 because of concussion symptoms.

    Bonk opened the scoring on a power play 11:19 into the game.

    The Leafs had not allowed more than 26 shots in a game this season, but the Senators took the first seven shots and held a 14-2 advantage eight minutes in. Ottawa tied a team single-period record by outshooting Toronto 22-5. in the period.

    "The way we were moving the puck gave us momentum," Ottawa coach Jacques Martin said. "We had great scoring chances from all of our lines."

    Hoglund responded for the Maple Leafs with his third goal of the season 35 seconds into the second period when an innocent-looking shot trickled between the pads of goaltender Ron Tugnutt.

    Alfredsson gave Ottawa a 2-1 lead at 8:52, converting Vaclav Prospal's pass from the corner for his third goal of the season.

    "Bonk's whole line (with Marian Hossa and Magnus Arvedson) has been our best for the first four games," Alfredsson said. "They're taking care of their own end while playing against the other team's top line."

    Roy took a drop pass from Shaun Van Allen and ripped a low shot past Joseph to give Ottawa a 3-1 lead at 11:36.

    Berezin bounced a shot in off Tugnutt 5:24 into the third period and Warriner tied the game 3-3 at 7:48. But then Redden struck for the eventual game-winner just over a minute later as the Senators improved their league-leading power play to 7-for-16.

    "I almost had too much time," Redden said. "But we never thought we had it in the bag."

    Referee Mick McGeough disallowed a goal by Toronto's Garry Valk at 12:19 because of a hand pass.

    "They forecheck really well," said Joseph, who made 46 saves. "They came out hard and we can definitely learn from hat."

    ©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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