Ottawa Senators Blow It Again, Lose 3-2 To The Leafs In A Shootout


After a dramatic overtime victory over the Washington Capitals, the Ottawa Senators had to come in and take two points against the lowly Maple Leafs. However, this is a Leafs team that, regardless of how poorly they’ve played, has given the Senators fits the last several seasons. It happened again tonight as the Senators clawed their way back to tie the game in the third period only to lose to the Leafs in a shootout 3-2. With Detroit and Pittsburgh both losing in regulation today, the Senators now sit 2 points back of them and the Bruins for a spot in playoffs.


The Leafs came out looking like world-beaters in the first period, outshooting the Senators 22-12 in the process. Obviously looking to sink their provincial rival’s playoff chances, it didn’t take long before Toronto got on the board. Joffrey Lupul got his 10th goal of the season, and first since December 29th, at 3:10 on a rebound from an Eric Brewer point shot. The Senators would get their legs going a bit more as the period continued, but not enough to catch up to the Leafs. An Erik Condra penalty resulted in one of Ottawa’s better chances when Mark Stone got a partial break, but elected to pass the puck instead of shooting it. At the end of the period, Toronto had managed 31 shot attempts to Ottawa’s 19.  

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The middle frame saw the Senators come out energized. Toronto didn’t register a shot on goal until nealy 9 minutes into the period. Like the night before against Washington, the Senators’ powerplay was clicking as Erik Karlsson came down the wing and potted home a rebound at 7:15 for his 21st goal of the season. That sets a new franchise record for single-season goals by a defenceman, which Karlsson had set just the year before. With an assist on the play, Kyle Turris set a new career high for points in a season at 59. Despite outplaying the Leafs throughout the period, a defensive lapse during four-on-four play would prove costly as James van Riemsdyk scored off a slick pass from Peter Holland. Despite outshooting Toronto 17-6 in the period, the Senators still found themselves down a goal after 40.


The final frame saw Ottawa open with 100 seconds of powerplay time from Richard Panik holding Condra at the end of the second. It wouldn’t take long before Mark Stone would fire a shot off a feed from Turris for his 22nd of the season. Suddnely, the Senators had tied it up and had momentum. A shame they couldn’t do much with it. As good as Andrew Hammond was tonight, and he was darn good (especially on a Phil Kessel partial break in the third), Jonathan Bernier was equal to the task. Bobby Ryan, who had some jump to his game but was once again snake-bitten, added some more tension late when he played the puck while sitting on the bench, which resulted in a too many men penalty against the Senators. It didn’t end up costing the team, but it killed any realistic chance of winning the game late. The Senators ended up outshooting the Leafs 14-8 in the third, for a total of 43 shots to Toronto’s 36 after regulation.


There were a few chances for both sides but ultimately, five minutes of 4-on-4 play solved nothing. The teams headed to a shootout, with Ottawa shooting first. Mika Zibanejad beat Bernier high to give the Senators the early lead, but after Tyler Bozak and Turris missed, Lupul would even things up in the second round. The teams ended up going to the 7th round, with both goalies looking sharp on several big saves. After Karlsson was stopped, Holland managed to deke Hammond out enough and put it over his stick-side to win the game. Another crucial point lost to the sad-sack Maple Leafs.


  • Patrick Wiercioch did not have his strongest game tonight. There were several times where Leafs players seemed to get around him and use his lack of footspeed to their advantage. His Corsi For % at even strength was 53, the worst among the Senators’ defence tonight.
  • Speaking of lacklustre performances by defencemen, once again, there were several shifts where the Eric Gryba and Mark Borowiecki pairing got hemmed in their own end. Borowiecki actually made some solid rushes up the ice tonight and showed speed. It’s when the two play together in their own end that problems occur, moreso on Gryba’s end.
  • Joffrey Lupul’s first period goal broke a 27 game goal-less drought for him. For a fairly consistent 20 goal scorer, even one that gets injured as often as he does, that’s insane.
  • Why do the Leafs seem to own the Senators the last few seasons? Back when they beat them in the playoffs, the Senators managed to handle them fairly well in the regular season. Plus, two of the four playoff series did go the full seven games. Nowadays, the Leafs play like an AHL team generally (no offence AHL fans) but whenever it’s against the Sens, they seem to actually put forth a major effort. Is it the whole “Battle of Ontario” schtick? That’s really quieted down what with the lack of playoff meetings. I can’t really say for certain. For some reason, the Sens bring out the best in the Leafs and the Leafs bring out the worst in the Sens.
  • Bobby Ryan’s struggles to find the back of the net continue. He’s trying, and you could see some extra jump out there for him, as I mentioned earlier. However, with the Senators facing an uphill battle to make the playoffs, just trying hard from their highest paid forward isn’t enough.
  • Nice of Sportsnet to mention Stone is in pretty nice company in terms of all-time scoring among Senators rookies. With his goal and an assist tonight, he has 59, just two points back of Daniel Alfredsson‘s 61 in 1995-96 for the second highest total among Senators rookies.
  • Turris’ two assists tonight give him 60 points in a season for the first time in his career. Jason Spezza currently has 59 points in the same number of games played.
  • Eric Brewer, whose play this season is only slightly better than that of Chris Phillips, has 3 points in the last two games against Ottawa. Both Leafs wins in extra time. Sigh.


The Senators will look to tie the Pittsburgh Penguins at 95 points in Ottawa’s final regular season home game. Puck drop is at 7:30 pm. Thanks for reading, and keep your fingers crossed.