Tonight, the 27th Battle of Ontario came to an end when the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators for the final time in the 2020-21 NHL season.
It was the return of Frederik Andersen to the Maple Leafs net, his first start since March 19th. Just in time to give himself an NHL test ahead of the playoffs. His teammates know it’s a big game for Freddie and make sure to keep the Tkachuk away.
Marner keeping Tkachuk away from Freddie pic.twitter.com/wVRZeXVVdI— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
The Leafs aren’t taking the night off, even though the outcome of tonight’s game won’t affect them heading into the playoffs. Lots of strong plays and hustle coming from the heroes tonight.
I'm not sure we talk about how easy Matthews makes his recoveries look pic.twitter.com/jrTOdBaTMb— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
Brady Tkachuk is the lucky one tonight, he gets the first penalty of the game (surprise!) with a hooking call a few minutes into play. Another unsurprising fact is that the Leafs don’t score with the an advantage. Not to take away from the Senators, they do a fantastic job on the penalty kill.
Soon after it’s the Maple Leafs turn to kill a penalty when TJ Brodie is called for tripping.
The Maple Leafs keep the power play goals at zero, killing off the Senators with the same ease that their own penalty was killed. Some good offense in there too.
Frdderik Andersen so be getting comfortable in net, coming way out to play the puck and putting himself in the path of the Senators forwards.
No goal for the Leafs on this powerplay either. Consistency is key to success. Ottawa did almost get a great chance shorthanded, but Jake Muzzin put it all on the line to keep it from happening.
Jake Muzzin prevented a shorthanded 2-on-1 chance with this play in the neutral zone pic.twitter.com/KE8HkS6AS1— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
Both teams are trading special teams chance, this time William Nylander gets a penalty for something and the Senators get another chance. Tim Stützle almost put the Senators ahead but can’t get the puck past Freddie.
Stützle dangles around Hutton and nearly does a Forsberg— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
That could've gone very poorly pic.twitter.com/ExG2ZDzWPR
Of course, someone does score for the Senators just before the period ends. It’s Nikita Zaitsev. You know him. He used to play for the Leafs!
He didn’t directly score, it deflected off Leafs defender Ben Hutton, but you know. Ex-Leafs and all that.
There’s one more minute of play in the first, but the period ends with the Senators up 1-0.
The Tavares, Foligno, and Nylander line comes out strong to start the second and as Foligno causes some distraction in front of the net William Nylander comes close to tying things up, but no goal, no tie.
Nylander and Tavares nearly combined for a highlight reel play there but a battling Foligno was in the way pic.twitter.com/5DfvL9yGxS— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
The Senators start to clog up the neutral zone, slow down the play. The Leafs find some time to fight through it and get chances however.
Thornton finds Spezza with a fine saucer pic.twitter.com/D8Jpqx7ZUL— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
The Maple Leafs get their third power play of the game after Shane Pinto is called for tripping Mitch Marner. Is the third time the charm? Yes!
Jake Muzzin gets a hard shot from the top of the slot to tie the game. First goal in a long long time for the powerplay.
It’s a one for you, one for me night as Pierre Engvall is called for slashing barely a minute after the post-goal face off. Andersen gets a work out on this penalty kill but keeps the door shut on the Seantors.
Freddie was a bit slow on the following wraparound attempt but this is a good shorthanded save on Brown pic.twitter.com/OkSq8y7THj— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
Another good save by Andersen coming across to stop Tkachuk pic.twitter.com/zC7GWjdIEV— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
Logan Brown is called for slashing, giving us half a minute of four on four hockey which leads to the Leafs power play, which leads to a mess of a play with Freddie coming too far out of the net, Auston Matthews trying to play goal, and Connor Brown scoring a short handed goal.
The Senators lead 2-1.
When the play comes down to the Leafs end, Morgan Rielly gets a boarding penalty against Paul Kelly, but before a Leaf touches the puck the Senators get it over to Kelly who shoots from the side of the net, banks if off Andersen for his first career NHL goal.
The penalty against Rielly is waved off. However, in the march to the penalty box that is this game, the Senators get another penalty when Shane Pinto is called for closing his hand on the puck when he smacks the puck away on the face off.
The Maple Leafs don’t score on that power play, but they keep fighting to get back into the game and we then get a beautiful play between Nylander and Tavares to bring the Leafs within one.
3-2 for Ottawa.
After the post-goal face off there’s a quick play into the Leafs end, and after the whistle Nick Foligno and Brady Tkachuk get into a scrum but are pulled apart before it goes any further. They get offsetting roughing penalties, giving us some four on four in the last quarter of the period.
Nick Foligno sending Brady Tkachuk a message pic.twitter.com/k832hQdDzm— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
The penalties end and Foligno comes out of the box with fresh legs and something to prove and almost ties the game.
Foligno comes out of the box and rips a shot on net pic.twitter.com/qkxcLheS62— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
The second period ends, however, with the Senators winning 3-2.
The first five minutes of the third period is hard play to
Rielly got some space for a shot as the Sens changed pic.twitter.com/sLb0MUjQ0P— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
the net from both teams. No goals, but no fancy plays or easy shots. The Kerfoot, Mikheyev, Engvall line comes close early on and remind me that Alex Kerfoot is a Maple Leaf.
The game continues like this, with both teams pushing each other down the ice but no one can get anything past the goalies. The Maple Leafs are showing frustration in their inability to tie the game, not wanting to head into the playoffs with some losses directly behind them.
The Ottawa Senators are fighting to end their season with a win over the Maple Leafs. It’s been a season of small victories for the young Senators, and they’ve taken any wins they can get, and a win over the Maple Leafs to end this rough season would be the perfect ending.
With five minutes remaining John Tavares is called for high-sticking Connor Brown, giving the Senators their fourth power play of the game. The Leafs penalty kill is near perfect lately, and kills this one without letting the Senators get a shot off.
Right after the penalty ends Auston Matthews scores his 41st goal of the season to tie the game with just minutes to spare.
Tavares' attempt finds its way to Matthews pic.twitter.com/j6XaxHQwRQ— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
The tie stays put until the horn sounds to end regulation time, so the Leafs and Senators are off to overtime.....which ends in nine seconds when Josh Norris gets one past Andersen after a cross crease pass from Tkachuk who had jsut stripped Marner of the puck.
It’s a loss, but it’s just a loss to a team who had a rough season that doesn’t mean much overall. Let’s consider this a favour the Leafs did for the Senators to end the season on a high note.
Marner turns the puck over— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 13, 2021
Norris' shot beats Andersen pic.twitter.com/vlTwGavLKO
The Maple Leafs will end their season on Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets* at 8PM.