TORONTO - No fan of easy endings, the Ottawa Senators' playoff hopes are still alive. Now they need help.
The Senators lost 3-2 to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a shootout Sunday night at Air Canada Centre, picking up a valuable point in the process. But by losing they failed to take control of their own playoff future.
With three games left, Ottawa (40-26-13) has 93 points and trails the Detroit Red Wings, Boston Bruins and Pittsburgh Penguins by two. The Senators host the Penguins Tuesday night in Ottawa.
Peter Holland scored the shootout winner for the Leafs (30-43-7), who got 43 saves in regulation and overtime from goaltender Jonathan Bernier. Joffrey Lupul and James van Riemsdyk had regulation goals for Toronto.
Senators captain Erik Karlsson and rookie Mark Stone scored to ensure at least a point. Goaltender Andrew Hammond made 36 saves, including 21 in a tough first period.
The game was the fourth straight to go to overtime for the Senators and fifth in the past six matchups. A second point would have been especially important because it would have put them in the driver's seat to make the playoffs.
With some motivation to spoil the Senators' playoff hopes, the Leafs came out flying. Lupul opened the scoring at 3:10 of the first period when he corralled the puck in front of Hammond and slid a shot by him.
The Senators had some chances, including a two-on-one rush, but Toronto controlled the play and finished with a season-high in shots for a period with 22 to Ottawa's 12.
It was all Ottawa for the majority of the second. Nine seconds into a power play, Karlsson crashed the net from the point to put home a rebound at 7:15 for his 21st goal of the season.
The Leafs didn't have a shot on goal for the first nine minutes of the second, but van Riemsdyk still broke a tie at 12:41. With the teams skating four-on-four, the Senators' defence left van Riemsdyk open, and Peter Holland found him for the go-ahead goal.
Stone tied it at two 1:09 into the third on the power play, firing a one-timer off a pass from Kyle Turris past Bernier. It was the rookie's 22nd goal of the season.
A penalty called when Bobby Ryan touched the puck while sitting on the boards gave Toronto a late power play. But the Senators survived to force overtime.
Notes — Oft-injured Leafs forward David Booth played in his 500th career NHL game. ... The Senators started Hammond for the second straight night after he beat the Washington Capitals at home in overtime Saturday.
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