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Recap: Matthews with half the goals as the Leafs beat the Senators

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Matthews with a hat trick in a goal-filled game.

Ottawa Senators v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images

First, before we go any further, are the Ottawa Senators still last?

The answer is yes in the North, but Buffalo has managed to fulfill their destiny and get worse overall. The Leafs would be helping Ottawa out if they beat them.

First Period

Oh, wow. Ilya Mikheyev, playing with John Tavares, gets a good shot on goal. Anton Forsberg makes the save with no trouble. Little known fact, Forsberg is Swedish for “for sale” and Forsberg is on display, make an offer.

The Kerfoot and Engvall lines play some good offensive cycles, and they aren’t the best shots, but do they ever handle the puck well. All of the current bottom six are 100 times the hockey players who used to hold those roles.

This was a slick little “oh shit” move from Dermott to flick the puck away with his stick.

Bogo basically mauls a guy in front of Campbell.

Mr. Matthews opens the scoring on this beauty:

They come right back and Matthews takes the same shot. Forsberg has it this time, but third time lucky, baby, as this is his next shot:

Can I just say, Wheeeeeeee! Also Leafs lead 2-0.

That was, per the broadcast, 99 and 100 on the goal tally for Matthews at the rink named for a bank.

Prior to tonight’s game the five-on-five goals in the NHL looked like this:

  1. Auston Matthews - 16
  2. Mikko Rantanen - 15
  3. Alex Ovechkin - 14

Leafs with a dangerous flurry around the net, and Morgan Reilly nearly scores, but that’s it for this period.

Thoughts

  • The refs are using their playoff whistles. And if I notice that, you all must be consumed with outrage.
  • The Sens are good at disruption, but it’s very rote commitment to the system. The Leafs pounce on loose pucks and look like they love this game. Or that’s how it seems to me.

Second Period

Leafs take the first penalty early in the period, which is not Brodie dumping a guy in the crease because the crease is like reverse holy ground, where all violence is legal. No it’s Galchenyuk in the corner who is called.

The Senators never really get setup, and that was a waste of two minutes on the clock.

Zach Hyman with a Zetterberg-like super cycle, but Forsberg is up for it. He really looks good in this game, and he was a prospect of note at one time. Someone will bite and trade for him.

Leafs pin the Sens down hard, and Forsberg is the only reason this game isn’t 5-0. Okay, and the occasional miss:

Oh, nasty. While it was most likely the Sens would score next, it’s never fun.

Campbell isn’t sure where the puck goes after it rings the post behind him, and in the ensuing, well... have a look:

2-1 Leafs

Oh, wow. Chabot takes a penalty in front of the net. He must have been outside the invisible free-for-all zone. Leafs to the power play.

Oh, that’s nastier. Alex Formenton gets a breakaway, and Campbell saves it like Hutchinson. See, he didn’t, and that’s... never mind.

Tie Game

And can I just say, Booooooooooooooooooooooo!

Okay, power plays are dangerous, faceoffs during power plays, and now all faceoffs:

3-2 Ottawa

Next up, seconds later, we have tough guy Alex Galchenyuk, and anger man Mitch Marner, just like they talk about on the radio:

Tie Game

The Leafs look like themselves again as the period is drawing to a close.

^^ Prophecy.

Watch now, as Auston Mattews, gets a hat trick, the lead, and demoralizes every Senators fan left as a bonus.

4-3 Leafs

Tough guy Galchenyuk on this play again, popping the puck off of Chabot’s stick, so playing him on the top line is working out nicely.

Thoughts

  • Don’t ask me why the power play is terrible. Maybe it was the lineblender, maybe it’s trying to hard to fix what wasn’t broken, just like last year when the sh% dropped for a while.
  • Play-Off Whist-Les
  • Also, holy cow, what a period of hockey.

Third Period

Justin Holl with a good chance in tight. Forsberg seems fine in these situations. Matthews has been beating him from a few feet out.

Wow, Forsberg with yet another great start. I know he’s let in four, but this is still a pretty damn good game by a guy who has barely played this year. He’s working a lot harder than Campbell for obvious reasons.

Oh wow! Mikheyev just turns and fires it at the net and in it goes.

5-3 Leafs

Hyman setting that up like he’s Galchenyuk or something.

The fated Connor Brown goal comes as predicted by anyone who has ever watched the Leafs play the Sens:

5-4 Leafs

The Leafs seem to have got it together enought to ride this out as long as they never have another faceoff near their own net.

Galchenyuk and Hyman end up together on a rush, and it’s the Spiderman meme plays hockey.

Ottawa pull Forsberg, and Campbell has to face another dangerous scrum.

Brabanov with two chances to get his first NHL goal on an empty net, but there’s too many Senators sticks around. He’s looked good all game.

And Hyman shows how it’s done with an ENG, and the Leafs now lead 6-4. Which is a good thing, because Thornton takes a penalty, and the faceoff is the culprit again:

6-5 Leafs

And the Leafs manage to hang on for 8 seconds without another goal against.

Thoughts

  • I’m really tired of watching Sens games.
  • Campbell had a bad game, but no one else on the Leafs did, so it all worked out.
  • 15 more games to go until the real thing starts.
  • LOL, Hyman’s ENG is the GWG.