Ottawa, ON – James van Riemsdyk scored twice and James Reimer registered 49 saves to help the Toronto Maple Leafs secure their first playoff berth since 2004 with a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday at Scotiabank Place.
Joffrey Lupul and Nazem Kadri each scored once for the Leafs, who had lost two straight. With 55 points, Toronto sits in the fifth spot in the Eastern Conference, just two points back of the Boston Bruins.
Jakob Silfverberg netted the lone Ottawa goal, while Craig Anderson allowed all four goals on 22 shots for the Senators, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.
With 52 points, Ottawa finds itself just two points ahead of the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot in the East.
"We have four games left but to me it has been a sprint since January 19," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said of his team's push toward the postseason. "If we come back and do this again Monday night (against Pittsburgh) we'll get a better result."
After a scoreless first frame, van Riemsdyk struck twice in a 4:02 span in the second period.
The first came at the 8:22 mark when he camped out in front and tipped Cody Franson's blast from the right point for a 1-0 lead.
With the Leafs on a power play just over four minutes later, van Riemsdyk pounded home a rebound from in front to double Toronto's advantage.
The Sens were able to cut the margin in half with under a minute left in the stanza when the Leafs turned the puck over in their own zone and the disc landed on the stick of Silfverberg in the high slot, where the Ottawa winger rifled a shot that sailed past Reimer with 43 seconds left.
Kadri snuck a wrister through the five-hole of Anderson at the 14:10 mark of the third to restore Toronto's two-goal lead before Lupul came up with a steal at the red line and skated in on a breakaway, which he converted with a wrister over the glove of Anderson to make it 4-1 with 1:48 left in the contest.
Reimer posted 15 saves in the third to keep the Leafs in front.
Toronto has three games remaining on its schedule, while Ottawa has four ... Toronto took four of five from Ottawa this season ... Toronto improved to 12-7-3 on the road, while Ottawa fell to 15-4-3 at home ... Phil Kessel and Franson each added two assists for the Leafs.