Recap: Bozak Ties Kelly in Leafs Loss to Senators

It was your prototypical Battle of Ontario game when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators faced off at the Air Canada Centre on Saturday night. A number of penalties and non-stop pushing and shoving after whistles bolstered the rivalry between the two clubs and reminded fans of the days they seemed to meet in the playoffs every year.

Norris Finalists, Ottawa Senators, Erik Karlsson, Fantasy Hockey
Erik Karlsson reached a milestone of his own passing Alexei Yashin for third most consecutive games played for the Senators. (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

This one went into extra time and even to a shootout. But the Senators came out victorious after a four-round shootout that saw a reviewable goal and Tom Pyatt as the shootout hero for the Sens. While the Leafs did lose, it was quite the goalie battle between Frederik Anderson and Mike Condon as each goaltender only gave up two goals during regulation.

But there was also a number of milestones met in Saturday’s game. Senators’ captain Erik Karlsson passed Alexei Yashin for 3rd in team history by playing his 293rd consecutive game for the Sens. While, on the other side of the puck, Tyler Bozak notched his 119th goal in a Leafs uniform passing of the team’s former greats.

While the game did turn into one worthy of the rivalry between the two clubs, it certainly didn’t start that way with a number of stoppages coming in the first few minutes of play.

First Period

It was a slow start for both teams with whistle after whistle stopping the play just as it got going. But after the first five minutes and once the teams started to skate the game opened up and the Battle of Ontario started to resemble regular match-ups between the two clubs.

It started with an offensive zone steal by Mark Stone on Connor Carrick. The play led to a tipped shot on Andersen who was able to come up with the big save.

But as the games usually go when the Senators and Leafs meet, penalties started to take over the first period. The Leafs were handed three (two to Zaitsev and one to Komarov) while the Sens’ Marc Methot sat for two as well. Fortunately for both sides, each of them were killed off.

The Leafs, killing off both the Zaitsev penalties, made it 14 straight kills for the number four ranked penalty kill in the NHL. While the Sens weren’t able to capitalize on the power play, they did find the back of the net in the first period.

Chris Neil stole the puck in the corner and got it back to Methot on the point. He hammered a slap shot that ricocheted off Bobby Ryan in front of the net for Ryan’s 10th of the season and Ottawa went up 1-0 with six minutes left in the frame.

Komarov’s penalty came with just over a minute left in the frame. And in the closing minute, Andersen was forced to make some big saves to keep the game at a one-goal differential. Ottawa out shot the Leafs in the first 13-7, but the Leafs were able to keep it close.

Second Period

The Senators had 29 seconds of power play time to start the second as the Leafs had to kill off the remainder of the Komarov penalty – which they did, bringing their total to 15 straight kills. And the kill seemed to spark the Leafs.

About six minutes into the frame, Zach Hyman was sprung on a partial break for the Leafs. While it seemed like he didn’t get a shot away, former Leaf captain Dion Phaneuf was whistled for the slash and the second best power play in the NHL went to work.

Already 0-for-1 with the man advantage, the Leafs dominated this power play and were able to cycle the puck quickly around the offensive zone. After gaining possession behind the net, van Riemsdyk passed the puck out to the slot and Bozak fired home his 11th goal of the season for the Leafs.

The goal was also his 119th in a Leafs uniform which tied him for 36th with the great Red Kelly on the franchise’s all-time list. It was also his 297th point with the blue and white which tied him for 34th on the franchise’s points list with Bryan McCabe and Tom Fergus.

Toronto seemed to gain momentum following Bozak’s goal and even got a four-minute power play when Ryan high-sticked Hyman. The Sens were able to kill that off, but the Leafs dominated the second half of the period. They out shot Ottawa in the period 15-4.

Third Period

Both clubs had their chances in the third, including a chance for William Nylander’s hard wrister that was snagged out of the air by Mike Condon, but it was the Leafs that were able to get what they needed – a goal.

It wasn’t the prettiest, but with the way both goalies were playing, it was going to take a bounce of some kind to get a puck past one of them. Sure enough, it was Kadri’s shot that got tipped just in front of Condon by Matt Martin. The puck changed directions and got in behind Condon for Martin’s second goal in under a week.

But it wouldn’t be a game without the Leafs allowing one more good opportunity. That came in the form of a delay of game penalty handed to Martin Marincin when he fired the puck over the glass on a clearing attempt with just over three minutes left in the game.

The Senators pulled Condon with 30 seconds left in their power play to give them a 6-on-4 man advantage and sure enough, Mike Hoffman fired home the game-tying goal through the legs of Andersen.


There were two-on-one breaks. There was a post and Nazem Kadri came so close to reaching a milestone of his own. But it wasn’t meant to be in overtime.

The Leafs did out shoot Ottawa 4-2 in overtime, but they weren’t able to beat Condon. And so, it seems fitting that it came down to Condon and Andersen in the shootout to decide who grabbed the extra point in this game.

Scoring Summary


OTT – Bobby Ryan (10) assisted by Marc Methot and Chris Neil


TOR – Tyler Bozak (11) PPG assisted by James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri


TOR – Matt Martin (4) assisted by Jake Gardiner and Nazem Kadri

OTT – Mike Hoffman (15) PPG assisted by Erik Karlsson and Dion Phaneuf


No scoring


TOR – Auston Matthews – Missed

OTT – Bobby Ryan – Scores

TOR – Mitch Marner – Scores

OTT – Kyle Turris – Stopped

TOR – James van Riemsdyk – Missed

OTT – Erik Karlsson – Stopped

TOR – Tyler Bozak – Stopped

OTT – Tom Pyatt – Scores

THW Three Stars

First: Mike Condon (33 saves and the win)

Second: Mike Hoffman (GTG and 4 shots)

Third: Nazem Kadri (2 assists)


Calgary Flames at Toronto Maple Leafs

Air Canada Centre – 7:30 p.m. EST – Monday, January 23

Broadcast channels – TSN4 and SNW

2016-17 Season Series: Flames lead series 1-0-0