You Take It, I Got It - Senators over Leafs

 

On a night in which the Toronto Maple Leafs had two of their best centre icemen of the last twenty years (Joe Nieuwendyk and Doug Gilmore) in attendance, the boys in blue and white were not able to get over the hump against the Ottawa Senators. The Senators were play the back end of a back to back, and didn’t record a shot until the 13 minute mark of the first period. The Leafs had every opportunity to come away with the victory tonight, but a couple of mistakes cost them points.

The Leafs had a 1-0 lead after twenty minutes thanks to a Tyler Bozak wrist shot (his first goal of the season). Mike Komisarek struggled on the night, he played only 13:34, and was on the ice for the Senators tying goal, as well as Nick Foligno’s go ahead marker. Foligno exposed an out of position Komisarek which led to his breakaway. The breakaway came on a two man advantage for the Senators, after Bozak took a lazy penalty in the offensive zone followed quickly by a Phillip Dupuis careless high sticking penalty. The third ranked Senators power play quickly took advantage and in the blink of an eye, a dormant Senators had a lead they would never relinquish.

With the Leafs looking to grab the equalized early in the third, Dion Phaneuf was caught up ice leading to an early two on one less than a minute into the third period. Ben Scrivens had a solid game on the night, the first and second goals weren’t his fault, and to some extent neither was the third. However, I’ve said it before the Leafs are a bubble team this season, they are going to need that big save at the big moment. Tonight that big moment was a two on one, less than a minute into the third period, with his team down by a goal. Scrivens leaned the wrong way, Zack Smith went short side and the Leafs were down by two. Toronto really made a game of it though. The Leafs attacked at will throughout the third period, and if it wasn’t for Craig Anderson the Leafs would have at least forced overtime. Anderson made some great saves in the third particularly on Phil Kessel, Dupuis and Grabovski. Joffrey Lupul banked a shot in from behind the net after a mad scramble with less than four minutes remaining, but that was the closest the Leafs got on the night. Foligno and Phillips added empty netters to ice the game. Phillips’ empty netter was actually put in by Clarke MacArthur, the Leafs second line has had trouble all season and tonight was no different. MacArthur was actually replaced by Matthew Lombardi for most of this game. The Kulemin, Grabovski, MacArthur line must become effective if the Leafs are going to win games this season. It seems like their passes are always in each others feet, or just off. Hopefully they can get it going soon.

Men of the Match 

Leafs: John Michael Liles – The offensive minded defenseman created plenty of offense tonight. He was stopped point blank on a couple of occasions by Anderson tonight, and he just missed a goal in the third period as his shot sailed slightly wide. Liles’ offensive instincts have been very noticeable of late. He also threw a couple of solid hip checks.

Senators: Nick Foligno – Took a stick to the face which led to the Senators two man advantage, and then followed that up by capitalizing himself on that opportunity. His empty netter was the nail in the charging Leafs’ coffin tonight.

Healyism of the Night

“Scrivens needs more shots against. He’s been strong in games with 30+ shots, but struggled in his other games.” Someone needs to teach Healy what a sample size is, since Scrivens only played one game with less than thirty shots at the time of that comment.

Next Game

The Leafs will look to get back to winning Tuesday night when they host the Phoenix Coyotes.