OTTAWA – For the second straight game the Toronto Maple Leafs allowed 50 shots against in a hockey game. For the second straight game they emerged with a victory
James Van Riemsdyk and Mason Raymond scored in the shootout Saturday night while James Reimer stopped both shots he faced as the Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3.
Reimer was the best player for the Leafs (15-11-3) making 47 saves during regulation and overtime. He was supported with goals from Van Riemsdyk, Phil Kessel and Jake Gardiner.
The game came on the heels of a 3-2 overtime win over the Dallas Stars Thursday when they were outshot 50-24.
Jonathan Bernier made 48 saves in that game and stopped the Leafs’ five-game losing streak in the process.
“My job is to stop them whether there’s 10 shots or 100 shots,” Reimer said.
“It’s our (his and Bernier’s) job to get in front of them and give the team a chance and that’s it. We don’t really care how many shots we’re giving up. Our job is to stop the puck from going in the net.”
Clarke MacArthur, Erik Condra and Erik Karlsson scored for the Senators (11-14-4), and Craig Anderson made 28 saves.
The Senators scored twice in the third period to come back from a 3-1 deficit.
Greening was in the corner and found Condra alone in the slot and he beat Reimer high glove side at 2:23 to make the score 3-2.
Karlsson tied the game on a power play at 10:30 of the third after sneaking in from the point and scoring from the top of the crease following a pass from Mika Zibanejad.
“There were two power play goals that we should have had coverage on but we found a way to win the hockey game,” Leafs coach Randy Carlyle said after his team gave the Senators eight power-play opportunities.
“We’ve had some down times of late so we’re going to take the points and move on. We need to continue to focus on the things we do well and when we skate and attack we can be a hockey club that can have success. When we sit back and receive the game we allow the opposition to dictate the pace of the game.”
Senators forward Zack Smith would just as soon forget everything related to the Leafs’ second goal, starting when he was knocked down just inside the Toronto blueline and turned the puck over.
Van Riemsdyk was the initial recipient of the turnover as he gained control of the loose puck and started up ice on a 2-on-1 that was eventually turned into a goal by Kessel at 3:05 of the second period.
The bad news didn’t end there for Smith. Following the goal, thinking there should have been a penalty on the play, he was given a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty along with a 10-minute misconduct.
“What we think doesn’t matter. Only when the guy with the orange armbands puts his hand up in the air and calls it a penalty, that’s the only time it’s a penalty,” Senators coach Paul MacLean said.
“We can all argue and say (Nazem Kadri) had his stick in between (Smith’s) legs and he up falling down and they ended up with a 2-on-1 going the other way, but the guy with the orange armbands didn’t put his arm up so it’s not a penalty, it’s a good defensive play.”
The Leafs then scored another semi-controversial goal at 11:37 of the second period as Gardiner scored his first goal of the season with Van Riemsdyk lying in the Senators’ net partially on top of Anderson.
Problem was Senators defenceman Marc Methot was the one who shoved Van Riemsdyk into the net.
The teams had emerged from the first period tied 1-1 after both teams capitalized on early power plays.
In the middle of traffic in front of Anderson, Van Riemsdyk was able to get his stick on a loose puck and put a backhand shot through the goaltender’s legs at 1:37.A little more than eight minutes later MacArthur drew the Senators even with a one-timer off a pass from Zibanejad through the legs of Reimer.
Despite the loss, Senators captain Jason Spezza feels the club has performed well in their past half dozen games, even if the results are not as positive as they would like having won just twice in those six games.
“This has probably been our best six block game of the season with our effort, so you’d like to think that first comes the process and then comes the result,” Spezza said.
“We’ve been going through the process and I think we’ve been getting better. We can’t hang our heads. We have to build and we have three games in four nights so it’s a lot of hockey coming.”
It starts Monday night when the Senators host the Philadelphia Flyers
Notes: The game was the second of four meetings between the teams this season. Toronto won the first meeting 5-4 in a shootout on Oct. 5 at the Air Canada Centre…Senators forwards Bobby Ryan and Milan Michalek, who turned 29 Saturday, haven’t scored in eight games … Forward Matt Kassian was in the lineup for the first time in the Senators’ last 11 games…The Maple Leafs have the third youngest roster in the NHL with an average age of 26.8 years…Paul Ranger and Morgan Rielly were scratches for the Leafs while Eric Gryba and Cory Conacher were scratches for the Senators…The Leafs have lost 80 man games to injury this season compared to just 15 for the Senators.