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Game Recap: Leafs 2 - Sens 3 (SO)

NHL: Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Another Saturday night, another Leafs vs Sens game to bring to you, this time from the ACC. How will Auston Matthews make Erik Karlsson look foolish tonight? Only one way to find out.

First Period
  • [20:00] For the Leafs, Martin Marincin draws in for Frank Corrado. The former has been out with injury for a while, but you get the sense that even if he was still on crutches, Babcock might prefer him to Corrado. Looks like the defence pairs will be as normal for the Leafs, but with Marincin slotting in directly where Rielly normally would be.
  • [20:00] Goalies are Condon and Andersen. Freddie has started 37 of the Leafs 44 games.
  • [19:45] Last week, Ottawa tried to match up J.G Pageau’s line against Matthews’. Will be interesting to see how this changes with the Leafs at home.
  • [18:50] Matthews bursts through the line and snaps a shot on net. He can get that thing off in a hurry. Relatively easy save for Condon though.
  • [17:38] I assume he played last week, but I was not aware Chris Kelly was still in the league.
  • [17:15] Very disjointed start from both teams. Lots of stoppages and sloppy play.
  • [16:15] Matthews gave it away in the neutral zone, but got it right back to rescue the Leafs. No real chances either way. Like I said, it’s disjointed.
  • [15:30] Ottawa tweaks their fourth line slightly and puts Stone on it for a ship, to try and exploit Babcock’s habit of matching fourth lines against one another.
  • [14:50] And right on cue, Stone picks the pocket of Carrick, dangles Gauthier, and sets up a chance in the offensive zone.
  • [14:10] Zaitsev hooks a Sen as the puck squirts free in front. Leafs to the PK.
  • [13:31] Ottawa with great control and puck movement, but not many shots.
  • [12:55] As I say that, they catch the Leafs napping and Ryan Dzingel breaks in on goal, totally unmolested. Andersen makes the save, and the leafs kill the power play.
  • [11:14] Marner just always seems to find the little creases in a defense. His positioning is sublime. He gets on the end of two great chances, but he overpasses one, and flubs the other.
  • [9:44] The game finally opens up a little bit, but Zaitsev high sticks a Sen, and Ottawa gets another chance to open the scoring.
  • [9:22] Gauthier is really endearing himself to Babcock with his faceoff prowess, at least in this game.
  • [8:51] Ottawa’s PP is really humming. Moving the puck around with ease, and are unlucky to have not scored already.
  • [7:43] The Leafs kill it off again. They need to generate something offensively.
  • [6:00] Ottawa scores! After Gardiner foils a Sens rush, the puck makes its way back to Methot at the point, and his shot is deflected by Bobby Ryan off the post and in. 1-0 Senators.
  • [5:55] After the ensuing faceoff, Methot takes a penalty. Leafs will have a chance to answer on the PP.
  • [5:28] The Leafs are a total mess right now. Not able to get anything set up.
  • [4:59] They finally do get a setup, and Matthews misses and empty net after a JVR shot. Looks like he wasn’t expecting it.
  • [4:02] Better from the Leafs - but still no goals, unfortunately.
  • [1:31] Kadri’s line gets some zone pressure, but a rush going the other way leads to a huge scramble around the net. Komarov takes a penalty for hooking to prevent a scoring chance. Leafs to the PK again.
  • [0:53] More of the same. Sens PP looking dangerous, Andersen stymying them. If the Leafs go into the second only down one, they have their goalie to thank.
  • [0:00] They do manage to get to the end of the period unscathed. They’ll still have about 30 seconds to kill off at the start of the 2nd. Overall, a poor period from Toronto. Needs to be better if they’re going to come back. They generated very little in the way of strong chances.
Second Period
  • [20:00] We start the period with the Leafs on the PK.
  • [19:31] They manage to do so, and need to set up some offence now.
  • [18:42] Seriously, the Leafs look so terrible right now. Can’t get the puck off Ottawa at all.
  • [17:31] Marner seems to be the most awake Leaf. He’s all over the offensive zone, and narrowly misses out on getting an assist as he sets up Matthews for a shot.
  • [15:20] The Leafs offense is almost entirely coming from the Bozak line now. Kadri’s group has been relatively quiet.
  • [14:31] Kadri’s line ices it twice. Unable to get a clean breakout and entry going.
  • [13:58] Hyman takes a great feed from Matthews and beats Phaneuf wide, who is forced to take a penalty. The Leafs head to the PP.
  • [13:37] Nylander has also been quite active today. Generates a nice shot off the rush on the PP.
  • [12:29] The Leafs score! And it’s the hot PP that does it. Kadri gets the puck down low to JVR, who feeds Bozak in the slot for the goal. Very Columbus-like, using the threat of the puck below the goal line to generate a great chance and goal. 1-1 tie.
  • [11:46] The crowd is into it now. Was quite sleepy prior to the goal.
  • [11:26] And now the Leafs are into it too, as a strong shift from Matthews’ group leads to some chances.
  • [10:44] The fourth line is getting in on it too. Big increase in the level of play from the Leafs in the last three minutes or so.
  • [9:44] Carrick with a patented blind pass to no one leading to a rush from the Sens into the Leafs zone. As the play progresses, Kelly gets tangled up awkwardly with Komarov, and falls oddly. He appears to hit his head on the ice. Let’s see how the concussion protocol treats this.
  • [8:15] Very pretty play from the Leafs, as consecutive cross-ice passes from Matthews, Gardiner, and Brown lead to a shot right in front of the net. Unfortunately, the one taking it is Hyman.
  • [5:48] Carrick really needs to be babysat by Jake. Another lazy pass in the neutral zone leads to a 3-on-1 for Ottawa, that very fortunately doesn’t work out for the Sens.
  • [5:32] As the play goes the other way, Hyman draws a high-sticking penalty. It’s a double minor too, since Hyman bleeds as a result. I guess he’s easy to puncture.
  • [5:25] BTW, it’s ridiculously stupid that the length of the power play is determined by whether the victim bleeds or not.
  • [3:45] Not a tonne of great shots from the Leafs. Lots getting blocked by Ottawa.
  • [2:29] Really strong PK from Ottawa here. Not getting baited out with the Leafs movement or misdirection.
  • [1:38] Ottawa has essentially killed off the entire penalty now. Huge kill for them.
  • [0:00] The rest of the period passes without incident. On to the third we go, in a tie game.
Third Period
  • [18:51] Gardiner gets tripped by Smith, which opens up a lane for Mark Stone to come out from the corner and get a shot off. No harm done for the Leafs though.
  • [17:30] Some pressure and shots for the Matthews line, who are really dominating as this game progresses. They refuse to let Ottawa leave the zone easily.
  • [16:28] I feel like the Leafs fourth line has a lot of territorial advantage, but they can’t turn their good board play into shots and chances from high quality areas of the ice.
  • [15:50] Marner gets hit in the neutral zone, but in the process, his turbo button is pressed, and he spends the rest of the shift moving like a man possessed. No danger arises though. Overall, there haven’t been a lot of real quality chances.
  • [14:05] JVR streaks in on a nice pass from Bozak, and nearly pots one by Condon on the snapper.
  • [13:19] Again, the fourth line spends about 30 seconds deep in the Senators zone, but get precisely 0 shots.
  • [12:59] And I’m proven wrong, as Matt Martin gives the Leafs a lead. After a shoot-in, Kadri walks in from the wall and fires on net. It deflects off Martin and a fortunate bounce gives the Leafs a 2-1 lead.
  • [12:03] Immediately after, Kadri and Nylander get a 2-on-1, where Condon absolutely ROBS Willie. Absolutely filthy glove save.
  • [12:03] Nylander has gotten so unlucky at even strength this year. Sean Tierney of the Athletic had a nice visual about expected goals and first assists (based on passing data from Ryan Stimson), and Nylander was one of the league leaders. He’s been ridiculous, and when the percentages start working in his favour that will be made evident.
  • [10:30] Nylander sets up another nice chance, on a cross-ice pass to Komarov, but his slapshot misses the target.
  • [9:53] Ottawa really pushing right now, as expected. The Leafs seem to be really poor with a lead. Just totally shelled up right now.
  • [8:50] Ottawa’s pressure is basically amounting to point shots with a lot of traffic in front. Which isn’t the worst thin in the world for the Leafs, but if that keeps happening, one will go in eventually.
  • [6:33] Leafs progressing to neutral zone play now, as a long swath of play occurs with no real events for either team.
  • [4:30] Toronto isn’t generating much, but every shift they burn is 30-45 seconds closer to a win.
  • [3:57] Oh wow, great save by Andersen. After the Sens dump it in, the puck is poked free in front, and the Sens’ Wideman is the first to get to it, and shoots from point blank range.
  • [3:10] That the Matthews line is still able to generate offence at this stage of the game, with Ottawa pressing is really crazy. They get a few more chances.
  • [2:47] Oooh, Marincin takes a delay of game penalty for shooting the puck out of the zone. Totally incidental, and the Sens have a golden chance to tie the game.
  • [2:27] This is really nerve-wracking now. Going to be a lot of pressure from hereon out.
  • [1:11] Aaand, they tie it. As they take off the goalie for the extra man, a point shot deflects off Hunwick, but unfortunately goes through the five-hole of Andersen. 2-2 tie.
  • [0:40] Ottawa ices it, and maybe Toronto has a glimmer of hope to end this in regulation.
  • [0:00] There’s a mad scramble in front of the net as time expires, and I legitimately have no clue what happened and how the Senators didn’t score. It looks like it was cleared off the line by Matthews. So we head to OT.
  • [4:35] Karlsson shot from the slot that Andersen manages to snare.
  • [4:04] Slow start to the OT, but I imagine it will pick up in short order.
  • [3:36] Komarov and Kadri have a 2-on-1, but Kadri fans on the shot! Great chance to end it there.
  • [2:44] The Sens come the other way and blast a shot off the post.
  • [2:14] Relatively sleepy, as far as OT goes. Some great defensive plays on both ends.
  • [1:19] Matthews, Brown, and Gardiner get a truckload of chances, but Sens sticks or Condon come in the way.
  • [0:48] Karlsson has a brilliant end to end rush, which leads to a Hoffman shot from the slot. Not sure if that got blocked or deflected, but it doesn’t go in, which I suppose is all that matters.
  • [0:00] And we head to a shootout
  • Matthews shoots first for Toronto. Robbed by Condon on the backhand.
  • Ryan up for Ottawa. He scores on a nifty backhand-forehand move. 1-0 Ottawa.
  • Marner now for the Leafs. And he evens it up, but Condon really doesn’t like it. Marner slowed up and arguably pulled it back. It’s under review now. Aaaand ... it’s good! 1-1 tie in the shootout.
  • Up comes Turris, and Andersen steals it with the glove! Still tied.
  • JVR with a chance to give the Leafs a lead.....and his backhander misses the net.
  • Now Erik Karlsson... saved! We go to extra shooters.
  • Bozak can’t do it either, and Ottawa with another chance to end it.
  • Which they do. Tom Pyatt puts it past Andersen, and the Leafs lose in the skills competition.