Leafs Edged Out By Hot Senators
Having defeated the conference leading Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday in a dramatic back and forth affair, it seemed that the Leafs weren't able to get engaged as they faced the Ottawa Senators on Sunday night. The Senators were able to take advantage of the listless buds for a 3-2 victory, their sixth straight. Although the Leafs did open the scoring on a Clarke MacArthrur power play goal it was obvious from the start that the Leafs didn't have it on the night. Tired legs, and a complete lack of emotion was on display as the Senators cycled and attacked the Leafs in waves.
Despite the fact that the Leafs were somewhat absent for most of the night, they were still able to stay in this game. The Senators power play, ranked second overall at 29% coming into the game, struck twice on goals by Colin Greening and Chris Neil. Jonas Gustavsson (forced to make his fourth straight start) was helpless on the two markers. With a 2-1 lead in the third period, Kaspar Daugavins managed to beat Gustavsson with a weak wrister that The Monster would love to have back. It was a weak goal to be sure, one that every goalie unfortunately lets in every once in awhile. The Daugavins goal seemed to revive the Leafs, and for the remainder of the game they swarmed the Senators zone. MacArthur notched his second of the night, but Robin Lehner preserved the win with some big saves. Lehner's biggest save of the night was a sprawling block of a Nikolai Kulemin shot.
Toronto's penalty killing continues to be a problem, hopefully with the return of James Reimer the Leafs can shore up their achillies heel. Erik Karlsson continued his strong play for the Senators creating offense all night and finishing with one assist. Karlsson currently leads in the NHL in scoring by defensemen.
Men of the Match
Leafs: Clarke MacArthur - The Leafs winger scored for the third consecutive game, and was the only Leaf player able to beat Lehner on the night. MacArthur is finally over his early season slump and his improved play has been a big boost to the blue and white. Just missed the hat trick and tying goal in the third as the puck almost banked off of him and into the empty net.
Senators: Erik Karlsson - The aforementioned Karlsson has had a great start to the season. He played 24:16 in the game, and made some solid defensive plays as well. Karlsson did take two bad penalties on the night though.
Millenism of the Night
"Initial hit..initiated...initiation hit and then the trip"
The Leafs head to the swamp Wednesday night to face future Leaf Zack Parise and the New Jersey Devils.