Recap: Senators Beat Leafs in Goal-Filled Affair

The rivalry of two teams was on full display on Hockey Day in Canada when the Ottawa Senators stepped into Toronto to take on the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre. An almost must-win for both clubs, there was an air of playoff hockey in the building when the two teams stepped onto the ice.

Frank Mahovlich, NHL, Toronto Maple Leafs, Legends Row
Frank Mahovlich was one of four former Leafs named to Legends Row on Saturday.

First, however, the Leafs honoured four more inductees into their Legends Row. Charlie Conacher, Red Kelly, Frank Mahovlich and Wendel Clark joined 10 others already enshrined outside the ACC prior to the drop of the puck – a reminder of the history that exists within this Toronto franchise.

But that was all the Leafs celebrated on this night as they gave up yet another third period lead in an exciting affair – losing to the Senators 6-3. The win moves Ottawa to within two points of the division-leading Canadiens, while the loss leaves the Leafs on the verge of dropping outside of playoff contention.

First Period

It was a playoff atmosphere at the Air Canada Centre when this one started with both clubs coming out flying. Power plays were aplenty and even though they sat in second in the Atlantic Division entering play, the Senators played with desperation.

Just three minutes in, the teams set the tone when Roman Polak and Mark Borowiecki got into it in front of the Leafs bench. Both were sent off for roughing and the game was played a four-on-four for two minutes.

The penalties continued to litter the first period as Jake Gardiner was sent off five minutes later for slashing Mike Hoffman who had snuck in behind the Leafs defender. However, the Sens weren’t able to capitalize.

Ottawa followed that up with two consecutive penalties when both Tom Pyatt (for hooking) and Kyle Turris (for holding) were given minor penalties a minute and a half apart. But the second-ranked Leafs power play couldn’t get anything done. And that would come back to bite the Leafs as just four minutes after the Turris penalty, the Sens got on the board.

It was a scramble in front of Frederik Andersen before the puck was sent back to the Leafs blue line. Derick Brassard got the puck over to Chris Wideman who fired the puck from the sideboards and got it past Andersen.

Twenty seconds after the Wideman goal, the Senators were back at it. Again, the puck came back to the point and Marc Methot fired it on net. Ryan Dzingel, who was battling in front of the net all period, got his stick on it and tipped it past the Leafs goalie.

The Sens did take a late penalty and the Leafs out shot Ottawa 15-14 in the first frame, but couldn’t get on the board in the first frame.

Second Period

It was the Leafs who came out hard to start the second period. Just over two minutes into the frame, they managed to break in on a three-on-one. Connor Brown got the pass across to James van Riemsdyk, but Craig Anderson came up with a big save to hold onto the two-goal advantage.

Following that, however, the Leafs fell back into the same routine as the first. At 9:29, Matt Martin took an interference penalty holding up Bobby Ryan and 11 seconds after that Zach Hyman was whistled for holding. However, the Sens couldn’t increase their lead on the nearly two-minute two-man advantage.

Andersen was also called upon to come up big in the second period for the Leafs to keep Toronto within striking distance, but the team in front of him couldn’t get it done.

The penalty kill earlier in the period by the Leafs did mean a lot more as the period continued. After an icing by the Senators, the Leafs were able to maintain offensive zone possession and spinning off the side boards, Morgan Rielly wristed a shot through a crowd in front of the Senators net that found its way past Anderson. With that, the Leafs were within a goal.

From there, things got a little more physical. Borowiecki went knee on knee with Rielly, but it went unnoticed. Both teams started forechecking a little harder – throwing some big hits in behind each others nets.

That seemed to get the Leafs fired up and with just over two minutes left, the Leafs struck again. After Dzingel dove to take away a goal from the Leafs pushing it just wide of the open cage, Nazem Kadri picked up the puck behind the Ottawa net and fired the puck off Dzingel’s head and into the net – tying the game at two. The goal continues Kadri’s career year in goals and was his fourth in the last three games.

Third Period

The continued their climb in momentum to start the third as, 45 seconds into the period, Hyman drew a hooking call on Zack Smith to get their fourth power play of the game. On the man advantage, the puck came across the front of the net right to Tyler Bozak. Bozak fired it on net, but Anderson came up with a huge save to keep the game deadlocked.

But as the second-ranked power play in the NHL, the Senators couldn’t keep them down for long. Fighting along the boards, Matthews fired a hard pass across the zone to Nylander. Nylander’s quick release paid dividends as he was able to beat Anderson to give the Leafs their third straight goal and first lead of the game just two minutes into the period.

But, like it’s been so far this year, the Leafs couldn’t hold the third period lead. Mike Hoffman got a chance in the slot and didn’t miss. His wrist shot got over the blocker of Andersen and ricocheted off the post an into the net.

Just 30 seconds after that, Kadri was whistled for holding and the Senators got their fourth power play of the game at an important point in the game. And like the Leafs did on their fourth man advantage, the Senators capitalized.

After Andersen made the first stop, Brassard got his stick on it and poked it past the Leafs net minder to give the Sens the lead with 13 minutes left in the final frame.

The Senators added two empty-net goals late and Ottawa walked away with two very big points in the Atlantic Division matchup.

Scoring Summary


OTT – Chris Wideman (4) assisted by Derick Brassard and Mark Stone

OTT – Ryan Dzingel (12) assisted by Marc Methot and Mark Stone


TOR – Morgan Rielly (3) assisted by Auston Matthews and William Nylander

TOR – Nazem Kadri (24) assisted by Josh Leivo


TOR – William Nylander (16) PPG assisted by Auston Matthews and Leo Komarov

OTT – Mike Hoffman (19) assisted by Kyle Turris and Erik Karlsson

OTT – Derick Brassard (10) PPG assisted by Mark Stone and Erik Karlsson

OTT – Mark Stone (21) ENG assisted by Kyle Turris

OTT – Derick Brassard (11) ENG assisted by Kyle Turris and Mark Stone

THW Three Stars

First: Mark Stone (1 goal, 4 assists)

Second: Craig Anderson (34 saves and the win)

Third: Derick Brassard (2 goals, 1 assist)


Toronto Maple Leafs at Carolina Hurricanes

PNC Arena – 7:00 p.m. EST – Sunday, February 19

Broadcast channels – SN360, SN1 and FS-CR

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