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Senators outlast Maple Leafs, win shootout

by Mike Brophy

TORONTO -- Mike Hoffman's goal in the third round of the shootout gave the Ottawa Senators a 5-4 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

The victory was the second in as many games for the Senators to start the season. The Maple Leafs (0-2-1) picked up their first point under new coach Mike Babcock after losses to the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings.

Hoffman said he knew right away he was going to shoot high on Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer; he beat him with a snap shot to the glove side for the first shootout goal of his NHL career. Hoffman was 0-for-5 in 2014-15, his rookie season.

"I haven't been too good in the shootouts," Hoffman said with a laugh. "The ice was really choppy so it's almost tough to deke that late. As you saw, there weren't too many dekes. I had it set in my mind before I even hopped on the ice."

The Maple Leafs rallied from deficits of 3-0 and 4-3 and were happy to get a point in a game that ended with the first shootout of the season.

"I thought our team did a lot of really good things," captain Dion Phaneuf said. "You're down 3-0 and you come back, I think that is a big, big sign of character. I'm really happy with the way the team responded. We knew we dug a bit of a hole, but there are a lot of positives to build on.

Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson made 37 saves, including seven in the 3-on-3 overtime. Reimer, in his first start of the season, made 29 saves.

After a scoreless first period in which the Maple Leafs outshot the Senators 16-10, Ottawa scored three power-play goals before the second period was five minutes old.

Kyle Turris put Ottawa ahead 46 seconds into the period with his third goal of the season. He was unguarded in the high slot when he took a pass from defenseman Erik Karlsson and drilled a snap shot off the post and past Reimer.

Alex Chiasson made it 2-0 at 3:38 when he stepped out of the penalty box, took a breakaway pass from Mika Zibanejad and beat Reimer with a high backhand shot. Pierre-Alexandre Parenteau was penalized for an illegal hit to the head at 4:04, and Ottawa capitalized again when Milan Michalek snapped a rebound past Reimer from close range at 4:56.

But Joffrey Lupul got Toronto on the board at 7:05 when he picked up an errant puck in right circle and caught the far corner from a bad angle for his first of the season. The Maple Leafs made it 3-2 when center Tyler Bozak took a stretch pass from Phaneuf and skated in alone, beating Anderson with a shot between the legs at 14;33.

Toronto tied it 3-3 with a power-play goal at 3:18 of the third period. Ten seconds after Ottawa's Marc Methot was sent off for tripping, center Peter Holland flipped a high backhand shot high past Anderson from in tight.

The Senators regained the lead at 8:59 when Mark Stone tipped a shot from the point by Hoffman between Reimer's legs for his first goal of the season. But the Maple Leafs tied it at 16:12 on a goal that had to be confirmed by video review. With each team playing a man short, forward Daniel Winnik took a backhand shot that hit the netcam and bounced back out. Action continued for 37 seconds until the buzzer sounded to halt play. Replay showed the puck had entered the net, tying the game.

Toronto dominated the 3-on-3 overtime but missed on a breakaway, failed to convert on a 2-on-1 and came up empty on a power play.

"I thought we worked real hard," Babcock said. "What I liked about it is we have had a tendency when things go bad to feel bad and we seem to be fragile and we don't seem to just keep on playing. Tonight I thought we kept playing.

The Maple Leafs don't play again until Friday at the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Babcock said he is looking forward to some practice time.

"We don't have to change the people; we just have to change how we do it," Babcock said. "Over time they'll look like real good hockey players. I thought we looked real good at times and carried a lot of the play. We found a way to make an evening that looked like it was going very poorly into an evening that looked better than it looked like it was going."

The Senators play their home opener Sunday against the Montreal Canadiens (7 p.m. ET: NHLN, SN1, RDS).

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