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game recap

Leafs rally to beat Senators 5-3

Tuesday, 09.27.2011 / 10:14 PM

NHL.com

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Leafs rally to beat Senators 5-3
Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Ottawa Senators 3
James Reimer made up for a bad start with the kind of finish the Toronto Maple Leafs will need to make the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

Reimer gave up a pair of goals in 67 seconds midway through the first period and another with 1:28 remaining in the period, but bounced back to shut down Ottawa in the final 40 minutes, enabling the visiting Leafs to rally for a 5-3 victory Tuesday night.

"Not the first period we would have liked to have, specifically me," Reimer said after making 32 saves for his first preseason win. "Obviously it was a bit of a tough one, but I liked the way we battled back.  We never got scrambly or panicky; we just settled nicely in the second and third and played our game and were lucky enough to come out with the win."

Darryl Boyce broke a 3-3 tie by beating Robin Lehner 1:35 into the third period and Clarke MacArthur added an insurance goal with less than two minutes remaining.

Mikhail Grabovski had a goal and two assists for the Leafs. John-Michael Liles and Nikolai Kulemin also scored for Toronto.

Mika Zibanejad and Zack Smith gave the Senators a quick 2-0 lead and Nick Foligno put Ottawa ahead 3-2 late in the first period.

Zibanejad, Ottawa's top pick in the Entry Draft three months ago, opened the scoring as he continues to make it harder for the Senators not to include him on the opening night roster. Smith caught Reimer moving side-to-side and beat him on the short side for a 2-0 lead.

"I'm not so happy because we lost," said Zibanejad, who now has three goals. "It's always nice to score, but it's kind of hard to be happy about it because we lost."

Grabovski's shorthanded goal and a power-play goal by Liles tied the game. Foligno came out of the corner and jammed a shot past Reimer at 18:32 to put Ottawa back in front.

Kulemin's goal at 12:05 of the middle period got the Leafs even entering the final 20 minutes.

Leafs coach Ron Wilson has been pleased with the performance of the line of Grabovski, MacArthur and Kulemin.

"I think they started a little slow in the scrimmages ... but they're getting out of summer speed and hitting fall speed right now, which is a good thing for us," Wilson said. "They were our best line last year and they look, right now, like our best line going into the season."

Boyce's tip-in put Toronto in front for the first time
It was a tough night for the goaltenders, who both gave up a couple of soft goals.

The Senators jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals by Zibanejad, who continues to make it harder for the Senators not to include him on the opening night roster, and Smith, who caught Reimer moving side-to-side to beat him on the short side.
The Leafs tied the game with a short-handed goal by Grabovski and a power-play goal by Liles.

The Senators ended the first period leading 3-2 as Foligno dug the puck out of a pileup in the crease and pushed it past Reimer.

Toronto made it 3-3 midway through the second as Kulemin pushed the puck in from under Lehner's glove after the goalie failed to smother it tightly.

The Leafs took the lead for the first time in the opening minutes of the third as Boyce tipped the puck past Lehner. MacArthur's goal sealed the victory.

"We played real well through the first half of the first period and then took a penalty that ended up getting us in trouble,'' Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "As the game wore on I thought we started to skate less and less and ended up playing too much time in our own end and our structure failed us."

The Senators also lost forward lost Peter Regin early in the first period after he collided with Liles. Regin injured the same shoulder on which he had surgery last season; his condition is expected to be updated Wednesday.

The Senators wrap up their preseason Thursday against the Bruins in Boston, while the Leafs head to Detroit on Thursday for the first game of a home-and-home series against the Red Wings.

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report
scoring summary
1st Period
10:44
OTT
PPG - Mika Zibanejad (1) Tip-in - ASST: Chris Neil (1), David Rundblad (1)
1 - 0 OTT
11:51
OTT
Zack Smith (1) Snap shot - ASST: Kaspars Daugavins (1), Chris Neil (2)
2 - 0 OTT
14:31
TOR
SHG - Mikhail Grabovski (1) Wrist shot - ASST: NONE
2 - 1 OTT
18:11
TOR
PPG - John-Michael Liles (1) Slapshot - ASST: Joffrey Lupul (1), Nazem Kadri (1)
2 - 2 Tie
18:32
OTT
Nick Foligno (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Zack Smith (1), Erik Condra (1)
3 - 2 OTT
2nd Period
12:05
TOR
Nikolai Kulemin (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Mikhail Grabovski (1), Clarke MacArthur (1)
3 - 3 Tie
3rd Period
01:35
TOR
Darryl Boyce (1) Tip-in - ASST: Cody Franson (1), Matt Frattin (1)
4 - 3 TOR
18:03
TOR
Clarke MacArthur (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Mikhail Grabovski (2), Phil Kessel (1)
5 - 3 TOR
penalty summary
1st Period
07:02
OTT
Bobby Butler  Too many men/ice - bench  - 2 min
09:57
TOR
Carl Gunnarsson  Tripping  - 2 min against  Nikita Filatov
13:49
TOR
Philippe Dupuis  Hooking  - 2 min against  Chris Neil
17:42
OTT
Sergei Gonchar  Hooking  - 2 min against  Nikolai Kulemin
2nd Period
03:49
TOR
Clarke MacArthur  Too many men/ice - bench  - 2 min
06:28
OTT
Erik Karlsson  Slashing  - 2 min against  Clarke MacArthur
3rd Period
08:11
OTT
Nikita Filatov  Tripping  - 2 min against  Matt Frattin
09:35
TOR
John-Michael Liles  Cross checking  - 2 min against  Colin Greening
goalie stats
James Reimer
SA: 35TOI: 60:00
GA: 3SV%: .914
Robin Lehner
SA: 31TOI: 59:58
GA: 5SV%: .839