Tucker’s OT goal caps comeback as Leafs stun rival Senators 4-3

Tucker one-timed a shot over Ray Emery’s left shoulder, the roof nearly blowing off Air Canada Centre as the Leafs erased a pair of two-goal deficits to earn two huge points as they kept pace in the Eastern Conference playoff chase. The Leafs moved into a tie for the eighth and final playoff spot with Carolina at 75 points.

Nik Antropov and Boyd Devereaux had third-period goals for the Leafs (33-27-9), who deserved the victory after outshooting the visitors 45-22 and clearly outchancing them.

But Emery was fantastic, losing for only the first time this season after facing 40 or more shots (6-0-1).

Daniel Alfredsson, Mike Fisher and Dany Heatley scored for the Senators (39-23-7), who still won the season series 5-1-2.

Alfredsson opened the scoring at 14:06 of the first period, slipping in a rebound after the Leafs had enjoyed most of the scoring chances. The Senators captain then set up Fisher for a pretty power-play goal 8:01 into the second period, with Fisher beating Andrew with a one-timer from the slot.

Tucker got his team back into the game with Toronto on a two-man advantage, finishing off a cross-ice pass from Sundin from his usual spot.

Heatley, short-handed, quieted the crowd of 19,527 at the ACC with a one-time blast from the top of the faceoff circle after a clean faceoff win by Jason Spezza over John Pohl. But what would have normally been a back-breaking goal with only 55 seconds left in the middle period was not.

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The Leafs, however, didn’t play like their spirits were broken, continuing to hustle in the third period before Devereaux broke through at 9:09, his wrist shot beating Emery through a screen.

Then Antropov tied it on a strange goal with 4:02 left in the third period, somehow knocking in his own rebound past Emery, setting up Tucker’s overtime heroics.

The game marked the return of Leafs forward Kyle Wellwood, who missed 33 games with a sports hernia.

Notes: The goal extended Heatley’s point streak to 14 games. . . . Forward Patrick Eaves (sore ankle) couldn’t go for Ottawa while defenceman Lawrence Nycholat and tough guy Brian McGrattan were healthy scratches. . . . Defenceman Tomas Kaberle (concussion) was out again for Toronto while defenceman Wade Belak and forwards Travis Green and Yanic Perreault were also left behind. Perreault has a nagging, undisclosed injury. . . . The Senators next play Tuesday at New York against the Rangers, host the other New York team, the Islanders, on Thursday and are home to Philadelphia next Saturday. . . . The Leafs play host to Tampa Bay on Tuesday before hitting the road for games Friday at Washington and next Saturday at Montreal.