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Key Takeaways: Leafs vs. Senators - 10/04/2016

by Adam Proteau /

Here are five takeaways from the Maple Leafs' pre-season, 3-2 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators Tuesday at SaskTel Centre in Saskatoon, Sask.:

1. Leafs start slowly, enter first intermission trailing 1-0 thanks to new Sens centre Brassard. Playing in front of their prairie fans in Saskatoon, the Leafs came out of the gate with emotion - veteran winger Brandon Prust took on longtime Sens enforcer Chris Neil in a spirited fight - and nearly ended the opening period with the same scoreless tie as they began it with. But Ottawa outshot Toronto 10-8 in the first 20 minutes, and, while on a power play late in the frame, new Senators pivot Derick Brassard tipped a shot past Buds goalie Frederik Andersen to make it 1-0 Sens heading into the first intermission. 

2. Second period a different story for Toronto's possession game, but result remained the same. The Leafs were an improved team with the puck in the second period and held Ottawa to just three shots in the frame, but the nine shots they fired at Sens netminder Craig Anderson in the period failed to cross the goal line, and the score remained 1-0 after 40 minutes of play.

3. Andersen's Leafs debut goes well. Andersen was making his first start for the Leafs after being acquired from Anaheim in the off-season, and the veteran showed no signs of rust in returning from an injury suffered in September. He was replaced by rookie Antoine Bibeau at the beginning of the third period, but in stopping 12 of 13 shots, Andersen looked increasingly at ease in his new surroundings. The 27-year-old will continue to acclimate to new teammates and head coach Mike Babcock's system in Toronto's three remaining pre-season contests, but he looked solid in his initial outing.

Video: TOR@OTT: Froese nets rebound on backhand, ties game

4. Froese, Kapanen spark Toronto third-period comeback. The Buds continued to apply pressure to the Sens to start the third period, and Toronto evened the score when forward Byron Froese batted a rebound off a Morgan Rielly shot into Ottawa's net at the 2:26 mark. Winger Kasperi Kapanen then gave the Leafs their first lead of the night when he rifled a shot past Anderson's glove side midway through the frame. The 20-year-old Kapanen had a roller-coaster year in the AHL last season, but he's had a strong NHL training camp this fall and registered a goal and an assist in Friday's 8-1 win over Buffalo. Even if he begins the 2016-17 campaign with the Marlies, Kapanen's future looks promising.

5. Lead, win slips away late as third period unfolds. The Leafs maintained their lead until there was approximately five-and-a-half minutes remaining in regulation, and a turnover led to Sens winger Matt Puempel beating Bibeau to make it 2-2. Toronto had a late-game power play opportunity in which to win the contest, but it came to an end when Jake Gardiner was assessed a penalty that carried over into the first minute of overtime - and Ottawa winger Bobby Ryan needed only 21 seconds of OT to score and give the Senators the victory. It didn't matter that Toronto ultimately outshot the Sens 33-17 on the night - it was about capitalizing on chances, and in the end, Ottawa did a better job capitalizing on theirs.

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