OTTAWA (CP) – The Toronto Maple Leafs found themselves playing from behind too many times Sunday night.
But that didn't matter to James Reimer, who managed to stop 38 shots as Toronto battled back from three one-goal deficits for a 5-3 win against the Ottawa Senators.
"It was a case of bending and not breaking,'' said Reimer. "They had opportunities, they worked hard and they battled to the dirty areas to get goals so kudos to them, but we managed to battle and get some gritty goals ourselves.''
Peter Holland had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs (8-5-2) while David Clarkson, James van Riemsdyk, Mike Santorelli and Josh Leivo added a goal apiece.
"It's huge especially with the back-to-back we just had,'' Holland said referencing Saturday's home win over the New York Rangers. "Anytime you can get two points against a divisional team it's a big win. I thought it was a really good game and I thought both teams competed hard. It was great that we came out on top.''
Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris and Mark Stone had goals for the Senators (7-4-3), who lost for the first time in regulation on home ice this season. They are now 4-1-3 at Canadian Tire Centre.
Sunday's game was the make-up date from the Oct. 22 contest that was postponed following the shooting at the War Memorial earlier in the day that took the life of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
Prior to the game both the Senators and Leafs met at the War Memorial in downtown Ottawa to pay their respects in advance of Remembrance Day on Tuesday. The two teams shared in placing a wreath at the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
"It's a little unusual to meet and get together in the morning and pay our respects, but obviously it was a great thing to do and I think both clubs would do it again,'' said Reimer. "Nov. 11 means so much and you really don't want to take for granted what all the people that have gone before us had done, so we went to pay our respects and thank them.''
"It was a neat thing to be part of, to honour the fallen soldier. It was great to be a part of,'' said Turris. "It was really important and it was great that the Leafs joined us.''
Clarkson had the only goal of the third period and it gave Toronto a 5-3 lead with 14 minutes to play.
Although he allowed five goals on 30 shots, Robin Lehner made some brilliant saves including one off Phil Kessel in the third when, while on his stomach, he reached out with his stick to swipe the puck away just before it crossed the goal line.
In the opening moments of the game it was the Maple Leafs who had the best opportunity to score but Lehner made a great pad save on a one timer from Leivo.
Seconds later Hoffman intercepted a clearing attempt just inside Toronto's blue-line, moved into the face-off circle and put a wrist shot over the shoulder of Reimer for a 1-0 Senators lead less than three minutes into the game.
The rest of the first period was fairly uneventful until the dying minutes when the two clubs traded goals a little more than two minutes apart.
The Leafs got the first one at 16:25 when Holland took a shot that hit Lehner's stick and was redirected over his shoulder into the top of net were it became lodged between the netting and the bar.
There was confusion as it wasn't immediately known where the puck was and the play was reviewed before confirmation of the goal came.
At 18:27 Turris beat Reimer with a wrist shot on a delayed penalty call as Bobby Ryan was hooked coming out of his own end. Ryan managed to get into the Toronto end and send a pass to Jared Cowen, who tipped it to Turris as he was entering the zone late.
"In the past couple of games we've been building and have been better but today was a setback,'' Turris said. "It something we'll have to work on.''
The Leafs tied the game early in the second period on another funny bounce involving Lehner.
Van Riemsdyk took a shot as he crossed the blue-line that hit Lehner in the shoulder, bounced high into the air and came down behind the netminder in the crease where van Riemsdyk tapped it in on his way by the net.
Less than two minutes later Stone gave the Senators their third lead of the game as he buried a rebound past Reimer during a power play at 4:04.
The goal brigade continued as Leivo scored his first goal of the season when he redirected a centring pass from Trevor Smith past Lehner at 6:21.
The Leafs then took their first lead as Santorelli scored a shorthanded goal at 10:53.
"It's tough, especially with the way we started. We had momentum and we got pucks to the net but eventually we gave them too much time and space and they made us pay,'' said Ryan.
"There's teaching points there for us. We haven't been as resilient as we have been in the past few games.''
The Senators will now head out on a three-game trip to Western Canada starting Tuesday while the Leafs are off until Wednesday when they host the Boston Bruins.
NOTES: Erik Condra, Patrick Wiercioch and Alex Chiasson were scratches for the Senators while scratches for the Maple Leafs were Daniel Winnik, Matt Frattin and Stuart Percy. ... Before his first-period goal Senators forward Kyle Turris hadn't scored a goal since the first game of the season, a span of 13 games. ... Sunday's game was the 100th meeting between the Senators and Maple Leafs. ... The Maple Leafs recalled forward Trevor Smith from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League earlier Sunday. ... With 46, Phil Kessel has more career points against Ottawa than any other NHL team.