Alex Kerfoot scored the winner within the ninth spherical of the shootout for the guests.
Maple Leafs 5, Senators 4 (SO)
The Battle of Ontario was like a wild rollercoaster journey Saturday evening on the Canadian Tire Centre.
The Ottawa Senators battled again from a two-goal third-period deficit to drive extra time, however Alex Kerfoot performed the position of hero by scoring within the ninth spherical of the shootout to safe a 5-4 victory for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Going through his former staff for the primary time because the Senators dealt him to the Leafs final summer season, netminder Matt Murray made 48 stops and was a giant purpose Toronto was on this one in entrance of a sellout of crowd of 20,092.
“I assumed we performed exhausting. To a person, I assumed we got here to win as we speak, and it simply didn’t go our method,” mentioned coach D.J. Smith. “We’ll take the purpose. You’ll be able to’t fault the fellows, they’re enjoying as exhausting as they will. You wish to come out with the 2 factors. In extra time, we had some attractiveness and hit the bar,. You’ll be able to’t ask for way more.”
Brady Tkachuk’s second purpose of the evening and thirtieth of the season, on the ability play with 11 seconds left on the clock within the third interval, had tied it up for Ottawa. Tim Stutzle and Julien Gauthier additionally scored for the Senators, who have been in a position to get the saves they wanted from Mads Sogaard.
Alex DeBrincat had appeared to tie it up with 1:52 left within the third and and Sogaard out of the web in favour of an additional attacker, however that purpose was waved off by an offside name following a problem by the Leafs and a video assessment.
“We performed a extremely good sport,” mentioned defenceman Travis Hamonic. “That’s a fairly high-powered offence. That’s an excellent sport for us. I actually imagine we performed an excellent sport. We obtained that one turned again on the offside and the boys simply went proper again on the ice to tie it up.”
Calle Jamkrok’s second of the sport had prolonged Toronto’s result in two objectives at 9:39 of the third interval, however Tkachuk pulled Ottawa inside a purpose by scoring with 9:18 remaining.
The Senators got here into this sport trailing the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins by eight factors for the ultimate two wildcard spots within the Nationwide Hockey League’s Jap Convention and wanted assist as a result of there have been three different groups to climb forward of as properly.
This was the third time this season the Senators had confronted the Leafs. Ottawa misplaced 3-2 in Toronto on Oct 15 and gained 6-2 within the provincial capital on Jan. 27.
Murray was purported to play in each of these video games, however was injured in each instances earlier than the puck might drop.
There’s one thing about this rivalry that brings out the perfect within the Senators.
“We had 50 pictures, we have been all around the sport and we had some lengthy offensive zone shifts,” mentioned Stutzle. “We haven’t gotten quite a lot of breaks this 12 months and we’re type of used to it already., so we simply tried to stick with it (when the purpose was referred to as again).”
This was Sogaard’s sixth begin within the Senators’ previous seven video games.
He got here into this one with 4 losses in his earlier 5 begins. Total, the 22-year-old had a 5-4-1 document with a 3.46 goals-against common and an .883 save share. He struggled once more on this one, however did give you some good stops.
By way of 40 minutes, Murray was the distinction. The Senators outshot the Leafs 37-20 by means of two durations, however trailed 3-2.
The Leafs took that 3-2 lead at 9:16 of the second interval. It was the third purpose Sogaard allowed on 14 pictures he confronted and it wasn’t fairly, as he was out of place when Jamkrok scored his first of the evening.
Solely 37 seconds after the Senators moved forward by a purpose, at 2-1, the Leafs tied it up 2-2 on Mitch Marner’s twenty sixth of the season. On an influence play, he fired a shot that beat Sogaard on the glove facet.
With the Senators short-handed, Stutzle had continued his march in the direction of his first 40-goal season by counting his thirty fifth. He fired a blast from the proper circle that Murray had no likelihood of stopping at 5:52.
The Senators couldn’t complain about not getting bounces within the first. They utterly outplayed the Leafs, outshooting the guests 19-9.
They’d tied it up 1-1 on Gauthier’s ninth of the season at 14:28. Erik Brannstrom fired a shot from the purpose that was deflected by Shane Pinto, with the puck taking a bounce off Gauthier’s leg and bounding excessive into the air earlier than touchdown within the web behind Murray.
That was Gauthier’s first purpose with the Senators at house.
“It was a fortunate bounce however while you go to the proper spot generally you get rewarded and get fortunate,” mentioned Gauthier. “I might have practiced 1,000,000 occasions and I don’t assume I’d get it. We’ll take it.”
Whereas the Senators pressed early, they discovered themselves in a gap once more. Toronto’s Jake McCabe picked up an enormous rebound off an preliminary save by Sogaard and blasted the puck house at 3:11. That was solely the second shot Sogaard confronted.
Only for good measure, the Senators will open a two-game street journey with a Monday matchup towards Sidney Crosby and the Penguins in Pittsburgh.