Senators edge Leafs in pre-season for 2nd straight night

Ottawa defenceman Jakob Chychrun sinks Toronto with OT winner

Ottawa Senators defenceman Jakob Chychrun, pictured in a prior game, scored the game-winning goal in overtime against the Leafs on Monday night. (Photo by Fred Kfoury III/Icon Sportswire) 

Jakob Chychrun had two goals including the overtime winner to propel the Ottawa Senators to their second win in as many nights over the Toronto Maple Leafs – a 4-3 OT win on Monday night at Scotiabank Arena.

A flurry of five first-period goals by both teams set the tone early.

Forwards Roby Järventie and Dominik Kubalik each had two first-period points in the winning effort for the Senators, while goaltender Mads Søgaard played the entire game stopping 37 of 40 shots.

Toronto rookie forward Easton Cowan supplied two first-period points of his own in the losing effort and was a thorn in the Senators’ side all game long. 

The tandem of Joseph Woll and Martin Jones shared time in the Maple Leafs’ crease, stopping a combined 35 of 39 shots in the contest.

Senators strike early

Ottawa got on the board early for the second straight game as forward Roby Järventie, the only player playing in back-to-back games, scored on a give-and-go play with Dominik Kubalik.

Three minutes later Toronto was awarded a penalty shot when Cowan was taken down from behind, but was denied by the right pad of Søgaard.

Kubalik found the score sheet for the second time in the opening 10-minutes after deflecting a shot by Lassi Thomson past Woll. Järventie provided the secondary assist for his second point of the period.

The Leafs would respond midway through the period when Cowan beat Søgaard on a tic-tac-toe play set up from the half boards by Nick Abruzzese and Noah Gregor. The shot was the team’s fifth, and Cowan’s fourth of the period.

The 18-year-old rookie is already giving head coach Sheldon Keefe plenty to think about.

“He was outstanding [tonight],” Keefe said post-game. “I tried to talk myself out of [using him so much] because I have [Auston] Matthews and David Kampf, and older guys who need [to play] as well, but it was hard not to.

“Every time he was on the ice he made something happen.”

Rookie forward Easton Cowan scored his first goal of the 2023 NHL preseason on Monday night against the Ottawa Senators to make it a 2-1 game (Sportsnet/YouTube)

There was plenty of positive puck movement from the Maple Leafs’ first power-play unit on their second man advantage of the period but were unable to make the most of the opportunity.

Ottawa showed the Leafs how it’s done on the power-play when defenceman Chychrun ripped home a shot low, stick-side on Woll.

Only 27 seconds later the Maple Leafs responded on a tip by Joseph Blandisi that beat a screened Søgaard. Cowan provided an assist for his second point of the period.

The dynamic duo of Matthews and Mitch Marner broke free into the Ottawa defensive zone on a short-handed chance to close out the period but were unable to put away the impressive scoring chance despite having fans on the edge of their seats. 

Finding their feet

The second period was largely spent trading scoring chances and throwing their bodies around to try and create opportunities and find space in the offensive zones. Senators forward Vladimir Tarasenko, who started the game on the Senators opening line, had a handful of good chances with the puck on his stick.

Newly acquired goaltender Martin Jones came into the game for the Maple Leafs just after the halfway mark and stopped all five shots he faced during the remainder of the period. He finished the game between the pipes for the Leafs.

Toronto was back on the man advantage just under five minutes into the final frame when Chychrun took a high-sticking penalty but strong goaltending by Søgaard preserved the Senators one-goal lead.

A late interference penalty by Blandisi at 16:49 put the pressure on the Maple Leafs, who successfully killed it off before going on a late power-play of their own.

That’s when Marner shot the puck up past the left-shoulder of Søgaard to tie the game with less than six seconds remaining in the period. Off-season acquisitions Tyler Bertuzzi and John Klingberg assisted on the tying goal.

Ottawa dominated the overtime period and were rewarded for their efforts when Chychrun buried a rebound by Jones to end the game.

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Posted: Sep 26 2023 10:50 am
Filed under: Hockey News Sports Toronto Maple Leafs