| Jonas Hoglund potted the winner late in the third. |
Graig Abel Photography
TORONTO (Ticker) -- The Toronto Maple Leafs can be forgiven for thinking this was a playoff game.
With Gary Roberts back in the lineup for the first time since the Eastern Conference finals, the Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators, 2-1, on Jonas Hoglund's goal with 44 seconds remaining.
Roberts underwent offseason surgery on both shoulders after helping Toronto eliminate Ottawa from the playoffs for the third straight year. He missed 57 games but started this nationally televised contest with familiar linemates Mats Sundin and Alexander Mogilny.
The trio helped connect for the Maple Leafs' first goal as defenseman Robert Svehla broke a scoreless deadlock 13:32 into the second period.
But All-Star defenseman Zdeno Chara tied it on the power play at 6:33 of the third and the game appeared headed to overtime.
That was before Senators defenseman Shane Hnidy coughed up the puck outside his own blue line and Toronto came in 3-on-1.
Mikael Renberg carried down the left side and reached the bottom of the faceoff circle before flinging a pass in front to Hoglund, who tapped it past Patrick Lalime for his 11th goal.
It was the second game-winner for Hoglund, who had just one goal in his previous 16 games.