Leafs rally to beat Senators 5-3
Tuesday, 09.27.2011 / 10:14 PM
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."
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.
had a goal and two assists for the Leafs. John-Michael Liles
and Nikolai Kulemin
also scored for Toronto.
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