Campbell continues strong start as Leafs defeat Senators
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Saturday, February 15, 2020
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS 4 - OTTAWA SENATORS 2 FINAL
Ottawa, ON – For the second time in two weeks, the Senators proved to be a tough opponent for the Leafs. Jack Campbell was excellent in this contest, backstopping his team to a 4-2 victory in Ottawa on Saturday night.
Campbell made 25 saves, including key stops in the third period after the Senators made it a 3-2 game. He’s now 3-0-1 in four starts as a Leaf and has picked up seven of eight possible points for his team.
Auston Matthews, Jake Muzzin, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner all scored for Toronto, who is now 31-20-8.
Former Leaf Connor Brown and Cody Goloubef scored for the Senators, who have just one win in their last eight games.
The win marks the first victory in regulation for Toronto since January 29.
With the win, Toronto has also moved four points up on Florida in the Atlantic Division after a 4-1 Panthers loss to the Oilers earlier on Saturday.
It was a fast-paced start to the game, with both teams showing their speed. “Go Leafs Go” chants filled the Canadian Tire Centre, with many Toronto fans making the trip to the nation’s capital.
With 15:49 to go in the period, Matthews found the back of the net. After a Nikita Zaitsev turnover at centre ice, he skated in along the wing and shot it through Marcus Hogberg’s five hole to give Toronto a 1-0 lead. The goal was Matthews’ 42nd of the season, tied for the league-lead.
The goal was also Matthews 13th goal in 15 career games against the Senators.
With 11:27 remaining in the frame, Matthews went to the box for tripping sending the Senators to the power play. Ottawa had good pressure on the man advantage but couldn’t manage to put many shots on net.
Just over midway through the period, Ottawa led 20-4 in shot attempts but just 6-4 in shots on net.
After the opening 20 minutes, Toronto trailed 9-8 in shots but had a 1-0 edge on the scoreboard.
It was a quick start for the Leafs in the second period. Muzzin’s point shot found its way through four bodies in front of Hogberg to make it 2-0 Toronto. The marker was assisted by Alex Kerfoot and Timothy Liljegren. It was also Muzzin’s first goal in 35 games.
The secondary assist from Liljegren was his first career NHL point in his sixth career game.
Toronto had its first powerplay of the game midway through the middle period as Mike Reilly went off for holding. The Leafs top unit, who stayed out for most of the man advantage, had some great chances but Hogberg was the Senators best penalty killer.
With 8:12 left in the period, Toronto padded their lead. John Tavares threw the puck on net from the slot and Nylander deflected it past Hogberg for his 26th goal of the season to make it 3-0. That marked the end of the night for Hogberg, who was replaced by Craig Anderson after allowing three goals on 16 shots. Anderson stopped all 14 shots he faced.
With 3:47 remaining, Ottawa solved Campbell. Brown took a pass from Vladislav Namestnikov and shot it past the goaltender, making it a 3-1 game. Campbell got a piece of it with his stick but couldn’t keep it out of the net.
Midway through the third period, the Senators made it a one goal game. Goloubef scored his first goal of the season, beating Campbell short side to pull Ottawa within one goal.
Travis Dermott took a holding penalty with 6:42 left in the period, giving Ottawa a crucial powerplay with a chance to tie the game. Zach Hyman had a shorthanded chance on a breakaway, but Anderson displayed a classic two-pad stack to keep the puck out of the net.
Toronto killed off the remainder of the penalty, keeping it a one-goal game.
The Senators pulled Anderson for the extra attacker with 1:51 to go, but Mitch Marner flipped it into the empty net from the Leafs zone to seal the Toronto win.
Next up for the Leafs is a visit to Buffalo to face the Sabres on Sunday for their fourth and final meeting of the season.