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Maple Leafs’ Mrazek Injures Groin in Debut Loss to Senators

Petr Mrazek made 23 saves on 26 shots in his debut start for the Maple Leafs, but his last stop resulted in a groin injury, leaving his status in doubt.

KANATA, Ont. -- Petr Mrazek had his moments in his Toronto Maple Leafs debut but the availability of the Czech goaltender has been thrown into doubt after he left the game in the second intermission with a groin injury.

"I don't have an update on him at all other than he was unable to finish the game tonight," Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said following the team's 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday.

Mrazek made a last-second save on Ottawa's Victor Mete in the second period. The goaltender was slow to get up after the play. He skated on his own to the bench but hobbled as he made his way to the tunnel towards the dressing room.

"It sucks to see him come out of the game, he played really well for us," Maple Leafs forward Jason Spezza said. 

Mrazek, signed to a three-year contract with a $3.8 million average annual value back in July, had a bumpy ride to start the game. His team got off to another slow start, although the Senators didn't have much jump in their step, either. 

Ottawa got on the board first after Maple Leafs forward Pierre Engvall's errant pass in his own zone set up an odd goal by Chris Tierney, who redirected Nate Holden's shot with his skate.

Mrazek made a kicking motion to suggest the puck was kicked in. The Leafs chose not to review it, perhaps seeing an identical goal scored by Chandler Stephenson of the Vegas Golden Knights against the Seattle Kraken.

With over one minute remaining in the second period, Ottawa's Tyler Ennis set up a screen in front of Mrazek and deflected Thomas Chabot's shot from the point for a 2-0 lead.

Perhaps the only blemish from Mrazek was a one-time shot from Alex Formenton. The goaltender looked at his glove as thought he might have had the shot.

From there, Mrazek made some difficult saves as his team played by far its worst period of the game.

There were a couple of big saves off former Maple Leaf Connor Brown and Shane Pinto.

There was also a chance in close for Ottawa's Zach Sanford where Mrazek got a piece of it.

The Leafs had an expected-goals percentage of 25.95 percent in the second period according to NaturalStatTrick.com. Mrazek made 14 of his save 23 saves in the middle frame before his night ended prematurely.

Jack Campbell started in goal in the third period for the Leafs and made several timely saves as his mounted a comeback attempt. Spezza and William Nylander both scored power-play goals that cut Ottawa's lead to 3-2. But a late comeback was derailed when John Tavares received a borderline hooking 42 seconds remaining in regulation time.

Campbell, no stranger to groin injuries suffered one in his second start last season. He was out for a month before he returned for one game and missed an additional three-and-a-half weeks. 

"It’s too bad you never want to see that on anybody, and I went through it last year and he really battled for us in the second period, so many great saves," Campbell said of Mrazek. "I wish him well and I’m sure he’ll get healthy quick and be stronger than ever."

Mrazek was limited to 12 games last season due to multiple injuries. In many ways, his debut encapsulated his career. There were flashes of brilliance, some odd moments and it ended in injury. There is not timetable for how long he might be out, if at all. But like last season, it didn’t take long for goaltending health to become a concern  

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