WHY THE SENATORS WON
The special teams were special. For all the struggles the Senators have dealt with early this season, penalty killing isn’t one of them. They entered the game ranked ninth and showed their PK prowess early in the second period. Chris Phillips and Jarkko Ruutu were whistled on back-to-back infractions (at 0:35 and 2:39), forcing Ottawa to kill off four minutes of critical shorthanded time. They did, then went on to score two power play goals of their own in the middle frame.
When Senators general manager Bryan Murray envisioned his power play this summer, he probably saw big money free agent Sergei Gonchar and talented sophomore Erik Karlsson launching pinpoint bombs from the point. They did it Tuesday night, each setting up the other for one-timer goals. It was Gonchar’s first tally in an Ottawa sweater.
This group is redefining futility. They were nearly shut out in their third straight game (going more than 167 minutes without a goal) despite generating plenty of good opportunities against Ottawa netminder Brian Elliott. Even Phil Kessel, who had seven goals in his last six games against Ottawa, couldn’t find the back of the net. It took a defenceman — Francois Beauchemin — to finally snap the streak.
The Senators and Leafs had two wins in 14 games between them this season when the opposition scored first, so getting the first one here was critical. It came on a penalty shot late in the first period after Mike Fisher was wrapped up on a breakaway by Leafs defender Mike Komisarek. Fisher zipped in and beat J.S. Giguere with a tidy snap shot to take the lead.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
With Remembrance Day less than two weeks away, the Leafs held a nice pre-game ceremony to honour Canadian war veterans. It included the introduction of several of our finest soldiers and a reading of ‘In Flanders Fields.’ Too bad some goofs decided the ceremonial faceoff was also an appropriate time to boo Ottawa captain Daniel Alfredsson (or Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf, who has also heard jeers at home this season). It was a classless move by a handful of morons who make a strong case for the revival of frontal lobotomies.
- 2-2: Mike Fisher’s career record on penalty shots.
- 33: Saves by Elliott.
- 1-5: Maple Leafs’ power play performance.
- 18: Blocked shots by Ottawa.
- 2-5: Senators’ record against Northeast Division opponents.
GOOD WITH THE BAD
The Leafs lucked out midway through the second period after the officials waved off an apparent Ottawa goal. Alex Kovalev appeared to direct the puck into the Toronto net as he was being tackled by Colton Orr, but the call stood because replays were inconclusive. Unfortunately, Toronto lost its best defenceman on the same play. Dion Phaneuf headed straight for the hospital after getting his leg tangled up with Peter Regin.