WHY THE SENATORS LOST
Maybe they were overconfident about their ability to overcome 3-0 deficits. One night after battling back to force overtime against the Columbus Blue Jackets, the Senators once again found themselves down by a trio of goals early. There was no miraculous rise from the ashes on Saturday night — just the ugliest loss of the season. The Senators now have five days off, which will no doubt be filled with endless speculation about job security in the capital.
Tyler Bozak, Leafs
Either of Bozak’s linemates, Joey Crabb and Phil Kessel, could have filled this spot as well. They jumped all over a porous Ottawa defence, combining for six points in first period. Bozak gets the nod because both of his were goals.
Chris Phillips, Senators
For the second straight night, Ottawa’s longest-tenured defenceman was on the ice for the first three goals against. Phillips had to be frustrated about No. 3: The puck became entangled in an official’s skates and he was unable to dig it out. The Leafs jumped on it and buried it behind goalie Brian Elliott before the Senators could adjust.
The Senators did have a decent opportunity to get back into this game while still down 3-0. They were awarded a lengthy five-on-three power play near the end of the first period, but couldn’t manage a single shot against third-string Toronto goalie James Reimer. By the time they netted their only goal of the game on yet another five-on-three later in the second, the score was 5-0 and the game essentially over.
- 28: Toronto’s NHL rank entering this game.
- 1-4: The Leafs’ record in their last five.
- 3: Goals allowed by Brian Elliott on the first seven shots of the game. He got the hook in favour of Mike Brodeur.
- 9: Senators who were a minus-two or worse.
- 31: Saves by Reimer.
YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED
Who the heck is Darryl Boyce? The Toronto grinder introduced himself to the Senators in a big way Saturday night, first with a dangerous knee-on-knee hit against Erik Karlsson, then on the scoresheet. He potted his first NHL goal 3:18 into the second period after a complete collapse by Ottawa’s defence. What you might have missed was the fact not a single Senator showed an ounce of displeasure with the rookie after his cheap shot against their most talented (and undersized) defenceman.
There have been worse scores this season, but no game has been more damaging to Ottawa’s dignity. In addition to the Karlsson situation, Chris Neil refused to fight Leafs tough guy Colton Orr, who then soundly defeated Matt Carkner after the Ottawa heavyweight threw a questionable elbow. Neil finally did fight Orr during third period garbage time, only to take a few good punches to the chops.