TORONTO (Ticker) -- The "Battle of Ontario" turned out to be little more than a skirmish.
The Toronto Maple Leafs actually trailed briefly before completing a sweep of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series, getting a pair of first-period goals from Yanic Perreault in a 3-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
Toronto eliminated Ottawa in the first round for the second straight year, doing it as the seventh seed after losing all five regular-season meetings.
"We reviewed the five games and found out that we were the culprits as much as anything in our handling of the puck and our risk," Maple Leafs coach Pat Quinn said. "Once those turnovers came, they were so effective at sticking it down our throats that we were going to have to take that part of the game out if we were going to have any success. And our guys accepted that and they did it."
Curtis Joseph was virtually unbeatable in the series for the Maple Leafs, yielding just three goals on 123 shots and helping them kill all 16 Senators' power plays.
"Three goals for the whole series, it can't be done without playing great defense. And that sums it up," Joseph said. "The penalty-killing was terrific -- a lot of guys got in shooting lanes and you either block it or deter him from shooting. We did a lot of courageous blocks and it was terrific to see."
After completing their first four-game sweep since 1949, the Leafs will have several days off before the conference semifinals, where they likely will face the New Jersey Devils for the second straight year.
The Senators' playoff futility continued. They have won just three games in the last four series and have gotten past the first round just once in five tries.
"I don't know what it is. We've had some great regular seasons and, unfortunately, been unable to carry that over," said Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips. "I guess if we all had answers, we'd be going a lot further in the playoffs."
This defeat could trigger major changes within the organization. Coach Jacques Martin's future is cloudy at best and leading scorer Alexei Yashin, who missed last year's series during his messy holdout, becomes a restricted free agent on July 1.
"You've got to give credit to Toronto. They checked well, they played hard," Martin said. "Joseph made some big saves, they're a good hockey club. We should have done better, but you also got to give credit to their team."
The Senators grabbed their first lead of the series when Phillips' wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle hit Toronto's Tie Domi on the leg and deflected past Joseph 2 1/2 minutes into the first period.
It was the first goal for Phillips, who missed the first three games with a left shoulder injury.
The Senators were able to protect the lead for all of six minutes, 26 seconds as Perreault tied it on the power play. With just five seconds left on Daniel Alfredsson's interference penalty, Perreault took a pass from Aki Berg and snapped a wrister from the edge of the right circle over goalie Patrick Lalime's left shoulder.
"It was great to see the crowd get into it," Perreault said. "We came back pretty strong after they took the lead. We didn't want to get two goals behind."
Perreault put Toronto ahead for good with 1:53 left in the opening period. After a turnover behind the net, Sergei Berezin threw a backhanded pass out of the left corner and Perreault wristed the puck over a sprawling Lalime.
"We came out hard and I got that lucky goal. Everything was going good," Phillips said. "Before the game, we were very confident. But it's the same result and unexplainable, really."
Defenseman Bryan McCabe sealed the win midway through the second period with his first career playoff goal. Mats Sundin raced down the left side on a play that turned into a 3-on-1. He made a backhanded centering pass to McCabe, who charged down the slot and beat Lalime with a wrister.
That was more than enough for the stingy Joseph, who stopped all 14 shots over the final two periods. Ottawa outshot Toronto in the third period, 6-2.
"They capitalized on their chances and we didn't," Phillips said. "They didn't dominate and it wasn't the change in systems that won it for them. They just went out and showed a little more determination, and that's what won it for them."
Leafs left wing Shayne Corson, one of a trio of gritty veterans who were acquired in the offseason, agreed.
"When you're playing as a team, you never know what you can accomplish," he said. "No one or two or three or four or five players are going to win games for you, or even a series. But if you play as a team, you could accomplish a lot of things. We did that in this series. We came out and were willing to sacrifice ourselves for wins. We didn't care how we got the wins just as long as we won the hockey game."