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Leafs beat Senators in overtime

Gio! That’s it, that’s the game story.

Toronto Maple Leafs v Ottawa Senators Photo by André Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images

Okay, this is not going to be the most meaningful game of hockey ever played. You know it, and I know it. What can we do to make it mean something?

Let’s hope Auston Matthews gets some goals because otherwise...

First Period

All Leafs to start the game. The Sens are shorthanded and have Victor Mete in possibly as a forward.

Brady Tkachuk takes an early penalty on a cross check to Justin Holl.

Anton Forsberg is Ottawa’s best PKer, and it’s back to even strength.

Not the most energetic start ever from the Leafs, but it’s not like the Senators are making them pay for it. [ominous music plays]

Oh right, Hamonic is a Senator now:

Nikita Zaitsev trips Matthews, and it’s power-play time.

Nice Marner move, no finish.

Leafs get good pressure going, and a weird bounce off a skate turns into a two-on-zero. Källgren doesn’t stand a chance and yet there is also no defenceman to blame on how he handled the rush. The spacetime continuum has ruptured.

1-0 Ottawa

Bunting bunts the puck right at Forsberg’s chest, which has been a theme so far as Forsberg is big and has good positioning.

Connor Brown goes behind the net, executes an ordinary low to high pass, and the point shot is deflected in. It’s like Mike Babcock drew that up.

2-0 Ottawa

Källgren looks dumb on this one, but that’s a deflection for you. Save % is the true measure of a goalie, though, so he’s bad tonight, I guess.

Stützle doesn’t so much dive precisely, it’s more like he swoons a little, and Nylander takes a “too much man for Tim” penalty. We’ve all been there, Tim.

Leafs get a nice rush, but stop asking TJ Brodie to try to shoot with that fencepost of a stick.

That’s it for that period of what is alleged to be NHL hockey.

Thoughts

  • Auston Matthews has zero shots, and the Leafs aren’t bothering to defend

Second Period

The Ottawa power play ends a few seconds in, and there’s less than 40 min. to go.

Just checked the Raptors score and I feel much less sorry for myself for watching this mess.

And as we all expected Kyle Clifford expertly deflects the Justin Holl shot to make it 2-1 Ottawa

They show Dubas onscreen, and you know, I don’t have to pretend not to be bored like he does. Spot does not have a camera trained on me. She’s too busy trying to sit on the keyboard.

Another point shot goes in through traffic, and it’s likely another deflection. This one off a D to D pass, which is the old LA Kings tricks Jake Muzzin had to unlearn when he arrived on the Leafs.

3-1 Ottawa

Scores! Great Matthews line plus Liljegren and Giordano pressure results in a goal — it looked inevitable.

3-2 Ottawa

That’s two or three really good offensive flurries that just left the Senators with no answer but Forsberg.

Leafs are playing now like they’d really rather not hear about how slow they are in a second intermission. The game is actually fun now.

Mitch Marner just won the gold medal in moguls or possibly figure skating or both, but the puck just wouldn’t go in.

Nylander taking a shift with Tavares, likely because Mikheyev is gassed from working so hard.

Mitch Marner, who has been outstanding, just lazily gives the puck away at the offensive blueline. That really would be an intermission feature if Nylander did it.

Line rearrangement seems to be sticking, and Mikheyev is now the best offensive player on his line, and that won’t work as well for him.

You’re welcome for my gentle rag on Marner. He decides he’d like this game to be tied. This goal was all him. (Not the shot, particularly, but that will be the narrative.)

Tie Game!

That’s all for the second.

Thoughts

  • Matthews has more than zero shots
  • There was women’s hockey news in the intermission, so that’s all you get
  • For those interested:

Third Period

The Leafs are dominating and have all the early offence.

You know what that means, don’t you?

Ilya Lyubushkin gives the puck away, and Tim Stützle has too much talent for Källgren.

4-3 Ottawa

That’s 20 goals for the rookie.

Mitch Marner. Honestly, he’s just been on fire here. He takes advantage of a turnover and makes the Sens pay.

Tie Game!

The Leafs get a good chance, and the Sens top line takes it back the other way. Brady Tkachuk has a way with net crashing that is very different to Tom Wilson:

Matthews taunts us all with an almost goal at the horn, but no go.

Thoughts

  • Leafs would have won this 6-4 without Forsberg, so they are playing just like they have every game recently (except that one, but Sabres games don’t count).

Overtime

I demand a Matthews goal.

Källgren thinks he has a save, Stützle thinks he’s won the game with a hat trick. We get a call of no goal due to interference, but it will automatically get looked at. A very dramatic and emotional official announces the call on the ice stands.

GIO!!!! LEAFS WIN!

Next game is, er, tomorrow. I hate this schedule.