Stuck in a drought that dated back before the 2012-13 lockout, Ottawa walked into the ACC without a win against the Leafs in Toronto in six straight games.
The Leafs came out firing in the opening stages of the first period, forcing Craig Anderson to make a few key saves early on. It took the Senators nearly four minutes to register their first shot on goal; Mark Stone tipped a weak Patrick Wiercioch wrist shot that was swallowed up by James Reimer.
After they were left without one in Buffalo, Milan Michalek drew a hooking call and the Senators were off to their first power play of the season.
The man advantage would carry into the second period, and after 20, the shots were 16-10 in favour of the home squad.
The Leafs were looking like the better team.
Not for long, though.
Just 46 seconds into the next frame, Erik Karlsson found Kyle Turris wide open - and I mean wide, wide open - in the slot while all four Leafs were busy on the boards. Turris wired a snap shot over the glove hand of Reimer, and just like that, the B.C. native had three goals in five periods.
Alex Chiasson took an elbowing penalty less than a minute later, but it turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
Mika Zibanejad would spot Chiasson bolting out of the box and sent him on a breakaway. With two defensemen on his tail, Chiasson notched his first of the season as he lifted a nifty backhand over the blocker of Reimer.
But Ottawa wasn't done there.
Michalek would bang home the rebound off a point shot from Karlsson to make it a three-goal lead. The Senators were a perfect three-for-three on the power play.
Then, just when the game was looking to be on the verge of a blowout, the Leafs sparked a comeback on a couple defensive breakdowns by Senators Dmen.
Joffrey Lupul was the beneficiary of a Wiercioch giveaway from behind the net, as the 32-year-old left winger would pick up the puck at the hashmarks and fire it past a surprised Anderson. With five minutes to go in the period, it was Dion Phaneuf who sprung a streaking Tyler Bozak on a breakaway between Karlsson and Marc Methot. Bozak buried it five-hole and the Leafs were within one.
After a questionable Methot hip check turned into an interference call, the Leafs struck on the power play. Peter Holland took a pass down low from P.A. Parenteau and chipped a cheeky backhand over the shoulder of Anderson.
Holland goal pic.twitter.com/HjZBAY47Fz— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 11, 2015
The Senators three-goal lead was erased. Tie game.
But never fear. For, Ottawa has a player named Mark Stone. And he's kind of good.
Stone tipped home a Mike Hoffman point shot and the Calder nominee had his first goal of the season. The HST was rolling for a second straight game.
Ottawa's lead was short-lived, as Brad Boyes darted out of the box, picked up the puck and fed Daniel Winnik, who made a shifty move on Anderson and tucked home a backhand. The goal would be waved off by the only person in the rink who thought it didn't go in (the referee), but after a review, the ACC was to their feet again, cheering on another successfully tied game by their boys in blue.
In the dying seconds of the period, Mark Borowiecki made a game-saving play as he jumped on a loose puck sure to be banged home by Bozak for the game-winner.
In overtime, we saw everything. Absolutely everything.
Anderson made an enormous two-pad stack to rob Boyes on a breakaway, Zibanejad tripped Bozak to save a goal on a wide open net and the resulting 4-on-3 power play was as nerve racking as it gets. Nonetheless, after five minutes of 3-on-3, the game was off to a shootout.
Hoffman shootout winner pic.twitter.com/g0xtuIUts8— Stephanie (@myregularface) October 11, 2015
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
The man with the C on his chest had his first dominant game of the year. Finishing with three assists and some impressive defensive play, Karlsson commanded the power play with ease and was a huge part in the Senators exorcism in downtown Toronto.
Sens Zero: Jared Cowen
To be completely fair, Cowen has started the season off with some solid play. He's been that sturdy, stay-at-home defenseman we've been waiting for him to be over the last couple years. But tonight, in the final two minutes of the game, he made two horrific giveaways and after the second one, if it weren't for Borowiecki, it would've cost the Senators a win.
Sens Honourable Mention: Mike Hoffman
The poor guy couldn't buy a goal. After he rung two blistering shots off the crossbar, it was more than satisfying to see him bury the shootout winner.