Leafs Hold On Against Senators

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Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen kicks a pad up to make a save against the Senators. Veronica Henri / Postmedia

On Wednesday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs exacted revenge on the Ottawa Senators in the second Battle of Ontario this season. After being upset 5-3 by the Senators on Oct. 6 at Scotiabank Arena, the Maple Leafs rallied at home in this game to edge the Senators 5-4.

Zach Hyman, Andreas Johnsson, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and Morgan Reilly scored for the Maple Leafs. Meanwhile, Magnus Paajarvi led the scoring for Ottawa with two goals, as Matt Duchene and Thomas Chabot also chipped in for the Senators.

After the hard fought loss, Ottawa remains last in the NHL with a record of 19-29-5 and 43 points. The high flying Maple Leafs on the other hand, improved their record to 33-17-3 and 69 points. Toronto trails the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Atlantic Division by 13 points but still rank fourth overall in the NHL.

Senators Outshoot Opponents

Despite dropping the game by one goal, the visiting team from Ottawa outshot the home team in Toronto by a large margin of 14 shots. With the shot board showing a 11-11 tie after the first period, the Senators pulled ahead in the following 40 minutes. This included a dominant performance in the third that saw the Sens launch 17 pucks at Frederik Andersen. In comparison, Toronto only managed to fire seven at Ottawa’s goalie, Craig Anderson. At the end of 60 minutes, the shots were 44-30 in favour of the Senators.

Leafs Pull Ahead

At the halfway mark of this game, it appeared as though Ottawa was managing well with a 2-1 lead. However, that quickly changed at 14:20 into the second period. This was the moment that Johnsson scored the Leafs first goal of that period, which opened the flood gates. Two more goals were scored by Matthews and Tavares shortly after. All three Maple Leafs scored in a span of four minutes, which effectively wiped Ottawa’s lead and put Toronto ahead by two entering the third period.

Senators Comeback Falls Short

Despite a late second period collapse, the Senators fought through the major momentum swing. Ottawa was not ready nor willing to simply hand the game over.

Within the first minute of the last period, Senators defenseman Chabot found the back of the net behind Andersen for his 11th of the season. Just 3:19 later, Paajarvi scored his second goal of the game, drawing the Senators even with the game tied 4-4.

At 9:12, Leafs defenseman Reilly scored the eventual game-winning goal. Despite dominating the Leafs on the shot board, the Senators fell just one goal short on the score sheet in a hard-fought game against a team widely anticipated to be a Stanley Cup contender this year.

Matthews Scores, Again

Matthews has a history of personal success against Ottawa. In his first NHL game, he dominated the Senators and set an NHL record with four goals in his debut. Since then, Matthews has gone on to record 15 points (9G, 6A) in 10 games against the Leafs provincial rivals.

That is why it was only fitting that the 21-year-old would score again on the Sens, his first goal since signing a contract extension on Tuesday. The extension adds five years to Matthew’s time in Toronto and is valued at $58.17 million with an annual salary cap hit of $11.634 million.

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Snap Shots

  • Earlier on Wednesday, the Senators completed a minor league trade with the Colorado Avalanche. Ottawa acquired forward Jean-Christophe Beaudin in exchange for Max McCormick. The Senators immediately assigned their newly acquired 21-year-old to their AHL affiliate in Belleville.
  • This match-up between the Leafs and Sens was also significant because it was Bob Cole’s last time calling a Maple Leaf’s game in Toronto. Cole, 85, is a legendary Canadian hockey broadcaster who is set to retire after his captivating and storied 50-year career.

Official 3 Stars of the Game

  1. Zach Hyman, Toronto
  2. John Tavares, Toronto
  3. Magnus Paajarvi, Ottawa

Up Next

The Ottawa Senators immediately return home to welcome the Anaheim Ducks to Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday night. It is the first match of a three-game home stand for the Senators.  This game is also a rematch of the 2007 Stanley Cup Final whenever these two clubs meet. The Senators downed the Ducks 2-1 in overtime nearly a month ago at Honda Center. Overall, the Ducks are ranked 26th in the NHL with a record of 21-24-9 and 51 points.

Scoring Summary

Per Team
Score
Time
Goal Assists
1 Toronto
1-0
7:46
Zach Hyman (10) Mitch Marner (44)
John Tavares (26)
1 Ottawa
1-1
17:18
Magnus Paajarvi (6) Jean-Gabriel Pageau (1)
Maxime Lajoie (8)
2 Ottawa
2-1
1:35
Matt Duchene (22) Ryan Dzingel (20)
Bobby Ryan (20)
2 Toronto
2-2
14:20
Andreas Johnsson (13) Frederik Gauthier (8)
2 Toronto
3-2
16:29
Auston Matthews (24) Unassisted
2 Toronto
4-2
18:20
John Tavares (32) Mitch Marner (45)
Kasperi Kapanen (16)
3 Ottawa
4-3
0:40
Thomas Chabot (11) Brady Tkachuk (13)
Mark Stone (30)
3 Ottawa
4-4
3:59
Magnus Paajarvi (7) Zack Smith (15)
Jean-Gabriel Pageau (2)
3 Toronto
5-4
9:12
Morgan Rielly (14) Zach Hyman (13)

Cover Photo Credit: Veronica Henri / Postmedia

Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter, @BillyMorrison01.

Billy Morrison
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