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Senators defeat Maple Leafs 4-3

Ottawa enters their bye week on a winning note

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

It always feels sweet when this team beats the Maple Leafs, even when the season is shot. Tonight was no different, with the Senators pulling of an undeserved 4-3 victory over their provincial rivals.

The first period was all Toronto, with attempts 35-17. Ottawa looked nervous after last night’s disaster, giving up the puck far too often. They also had to kill off a delay-of-game penalty, and in a recurring theme of the night, they were shaky but successful. Mark Stone did his best to keep the team in it.

I say it was all Toronto, but that’s an exaggeration, since the Sens got the only goal. Thomas Chabot, taking advantage of his increased role, fired home his third.

The second saw the Sens come out flying, outshooting the Leafs 7-1 to start the period. That included a great Matt Duchene dangle through seemingly all of Toronto to ser up a Mike Hoffman goal. You know, to drive up his trade value. Toronto would then get back into the groove thanks to consecutive powerplays, but a combination of Craig Anderson, the crossbar, and luck kept the pucks out.

Finally,Andreas Borgman got Toronto on the board, leaving Ottawa with just a one-goal lead entering the third.

Less than a minute into the frame, the game was tied. Mitch Marner held off thr Sens’ defensive pressure upon entering the zone. The puck found its way to James van Riemsdyk in front. His between-the-legs move failed, which meant the puck popped out to him behind Andy for an easy backhand goal.

It took just over a minute after that for the weirdest thing to happen. Gabriel Dumont rewarded Boucher’s faith by getting his first as a Senator. His first shot went wide, but he picked up the end-board carom and waffled a shot that fooled Frederik Andersen and made it into the net. Filip Chlapik picked up his second NHL assist, but once again did it when someone else recorded a puck-worthy milestone.

The Leafs kept pressing, and were eventually rewarded eith the tying goal. Morgan Rielly had been the best Leafs player all night, and finally got s goal after two crossbars earlier in thr game. It was tied, and things got tense.

Overtime looked inevitable, but then the unthinkable happened: Ottawa scored again. A near-miscue in the defensive zone turned into a rush the other way, and suddenly the Sens had a 3-on-1. Duchene hit Tom Pyatt with a nice pass to send him in alone, and he made no mistake, scoring what would be the game winner. The Leafs pulled their goalie for more than two minutes at the end, but couldn’t score. Ottawa walked away with a victory despite a 48-32 deficit in shots.

Notable Performances:

  • Anderson looked out of a position or like he’d lost sight of the puck a lot to me tonight, but he finished with 45 saves. Doesn’t matter if the wins are pretty.
  • Matt Dichene had two nice assists tonight. He’s pretty good.
  • Thomas Chabot doesn’t look out of place on Karlsson’s pairing. That’s impressive. For Karlsson’s part, he was shaking his head at his own performance a lot tonight.
  • Morgan Rielly looked very Karlsson-esque. Exactly the player Sens fans hope he never becomes.
  • I forgot my computer at work tonight, so I got to type this recap on my phone. Sorry for the typos!