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The Ottawa Senators have found their way back into the win column tonight after defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-3! The line of Claude Giroux, Tim Stutzle, and Mathieu Joseph was dynamite, combining for 10 points in tonight’s game. After speaking out about their frustrations following Saturday’s loss, the Senators answered in a big way. Check out below for everything you need to know about tonight’s game against the Leafs.
Ottawa Senators Game Recap
The Ottawa Senators started off on the right foot in the first period against the Leafs. DJ Smith played with four lines and three defence pairs tonight, balancing the ice time between everyone. This decision paid dividends in the first period, where the Senators went toe to toe with the Leafs. Unfortunately for Ottawa, Travis Hamonic would put the team short-handed after taking yet another untimely minor penalty.
On the ensuing power play, William Nylander would snipe a wrist shot high-glove side past Korpisalo to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead. With the interference penalty taken by Hamonic, he is now second in the NHL with 8 minor penalties taken. For someone who makes him money on the penalty kill, he is hurting the team tremendously with all his penalty troubles.
But then it was the Ottawa Senators’ turn to get on the board. Dominik Kubalik fired home a one-timer to get his third goal of the season. Roby Järventie tallied his first career point on the play, with Tyler Kleven picking up the other assist.
In the final minute of the period, the Leafs would get one more grade-A chance from Auston Matthews. After chipping the puck around Matinpalo at the point, Matthews would enter into a 1 on 1 with Tyler Kleven. After undressing Kleven with a toe drag, Joonas Korpisalo absolutely robbed him to keep the game tied going into the intermission. The Senators hoped to build momentum off the huge save going into the second period.
Second Period Recap
The second period for the Sens was a mirror of the first. They started off hot with a great shift from the Batherson-Norris-Tkachuk line hemming the leafs in their own zone. This was followed by a great shift from the Joseph-Giroux-Stützle line, who put the Sens back on top. Mathieu Joseph, who has had a tremendous start to the year, created the play for the Sens. Joseph picked up the puck behind the net and went for a quick wraparound attempt on Joseph Woll. The puck shot straight over to Claude Giroux, who beat Woll up high to give the Sens the lead.
The Sens would carry this lead for just 3 minutes before the Maple Leafs answered back. After losing a face-off, Jacob Bernard-Docker blocked a shot attempt from William Nylander in tight. The Leafs got a friendly bounce on the play as the puck ended up right on the stick of Tyler Bertuzzi out front. Korpisalo and the Sens’ defence had no time to react before Bertuzzi potted it home to tie the game up at 2.
The teams traded chances back and forth for the next 10 minutes of the period before the stalemate was broken. Mathieu Joseph started a play once again, battling with a pair of Leafs players behind the goal line. Joseph controlled the puck and moved it over to Stützle, who was set up in the left-hand corner. Stützle sent a pass to Jakob Chychrun, who was set up in the circle. Chychrun dropped to one knee and beat Joseph Woll five-hole to regain the lead for the Senators.
The period would end with the Sens up 3-2 in Toronto. Going into the third, the Senators would need to weather the storm that the Toronto Maple Leafs would be brewing. They would snap their two-game losing streak if they could survive for 20 more minutes.
Third Period Recap
The Senators started the third period on the back foot, being outplayed heavily by the Leafs. The shots were 8-2 Toronto early in the third, as the Sens looked like they were trying to defend the lead rather than create offence. This style of play isn’t sustainable for winning hockey games, and the Senators would inevitably get burned because of it. Max Domi sent a beautiful saucer pass over to Nick Robertson, who finished the play with a one-timed snap shot over Korpisalo’s blocker.
But after conceding their lead, the Sens looked to get back on the front foot midway through the third. Claude Giroux drew a penalty on TJ Brodie, giving the Senators a great chance to regain the lead on the power play. With the first unit having trouble setting up in the Leafs zone, it was up to unit two to find a hole in the Leaf’s PK. Luckily for Ottawa, Dominik Kubalik was the recipient of a friendly bounce off the skates of Giordano. The puck, intended for Giroux, bounced off Giordano’s skate and past Joseph Woll, giving the Sens a 4-3 lead.
With the Leafs back on the comeback effort, the Sens changed their play style from defending the lead to looking for more offence. The puck was sent in deep to the Sens zone and found itself on the stick of Mathieu Joseph. Joseph looked as though he would reverse the puck behind his own net before turning to send a cross-ice pass up to Giroux.
The Sens entered the zone with a 3 on 2 rush, which they executed perfectly. Giroux passed back across the ice to Joseph, who now had a lane to the net because Stutzle had driven the defence back on his rush to the net. Joseph looked like he was setting up a wrist shot before sliding the puck through the seam to Stutzle on the back door. The fake fooled both Joseph Woll and John Klingberg, giving Tim Stutzle an easy one-timer to finish off. Just like that, the Sens were back up by two.
Claude Giroux put the icing on the cake after Stutzle picked the pocket of Joseph Woll behind the net. Woll didn’t realize Stutzle was pressuring from behind, and he was able to get to him before moving the puck. Stutzle sent the pass out front to Giroux, who had a wide-open net to deposit the puck into. This gave Stutzle his fourth point of the game and Giroux his third as the Senators took down the Maple Leafs 6-3!
Ottawa Senators Standouts
Claude Giroux, Mathieu Joseph, Tim Stutzle
The line of Giroux, Joseph, and Stutzle was absolutely dominant in tonight’s game. The trio combined for 10 points tonight and singlehandedly broke down the defence of the Toronto Maple Leafs. Mathieu Joseph, in particular, impressed me tonight with his incredible work ethic that led to point production. Joseph was a hound on the puck and often started off the plays that led to the Senator’s goals.
Both the eye test and the stats told the story tonight.
It’s no secret that I have been hard on Jacob Bernard-Docker this season. But over the past few games, he has been a rock on the Senator’s blue line in an elevated role. There were no points for JBD tonight, but he did an admirable job defending the high-end Leafs players.
I would go out on a limb and say that the Toronto Maple Leafs are Jakob Chychrun’s favourite team to play against. Tonight, he added to his goal total with his fifth through 11 games and earned an assist. On top of this, Chychrun played 31 minutes tonight and was a net positive while on the ice. While I don’t agree with playing someone for 30 minutes in one game, I will say that Chychrun did an admirable job tonight.
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