Skip to main content
game recap

Curtis McElhinney gets win in Maple Leafs debut

Goalie makes 35 saves against Senators

by Chris Stevenson / NHL.com Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Curtis McElhinney made 35 saves in his debut with the Toronto Maple Leafs, a 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

Nazem Kadri scored twice, and Tyler Bozak and Connor Brown scored for the Maple Leafs (20-13-8), who won for the eighth time in their past 10 games (8-1-1), including 4-2 at the New York Rangers on Friday.

McElhinney, 33, was claimed off waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.

"It feels good to come to a new team, and I think the most important thing is just to get off on the right foot," McElhinney said.

 

WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Senators highlights

 

"It was made clear to me early on, that's the situation they want to have somebody there that they can trust that they can put in maybe those back-to-backs or 3-in-4s or other situations. For me it was just going in there, building some trust with the guys."

Dion Phaneuf and Kyle Turris scored for the Senators (22-15-4). Mike Condon made 23 saves in his ninth consecutive start.

Video: TOR@OTT: Kadri crashes the net to bury PPG

Kadri gave the Maple Leafs a 3-2 lead at 2:31 of the third period when he received a pass from William Nylander in the slot, spun off Erik Karlsson and scored his 18th goal on a shot high to Condon's glove side.

Brown made it 4-2 at 7:52 of the third off a faceoff to Condon's left.

The Senators scored two goals in the second period to tie the game 2-2. Phaneuf scored his sixth goal at 9:15 when his shot from the point deflected behind McElhinney off the back of Toronto defenseman Jake Gardiner's pants.

Turris tied it at 18:10 with a shot over McElhinney's left shoulder.

Toronto led 1-0 on a power-play goal by Kadri at 6:26 of the first period, the Maple Leafs' ninth power-play goal in their past five games (9-for-18).

Bozak made it 2-0 at 1:07 of the second period when an attempted pass by Ryan deflected off Mitchell Marner in the Ottawa zone and went to Bozak on the right wing.

Video: TOR@OTT: Bozak takes advantage of Ryan's turnover

 

Goal of the game

Turris took a pass from Bobby Ryan along the right-wing boards in the Toronto zone, took a few strides and scored on a strong shot over McElhinney's left shoulder.

Video: TOR@OTT: Turris wrists pinpoint drive from the circle

 

Save of the game

At 5:09 of the third period with the Maple Leafs up 3-2, McElhinney got across the net to stop Hoffman's one-timer from the right circle during a Senators power play.

Video: TOR@OTT: McElhinney pushes across to stop Hoffman

 

Highlight of the game

With the Maple Leafs up 3-2, Matthews won a faceoff forward and passed the puck to Brown to make it 4-2.

"[Matthews] told me he was going to go forward and I was like, 'I don't know, maybe we should win it back. We're up one,'" Brown said. "I'm happy he went forward."

Video: TOR@OTT: Brown nets silky dish from Matthews

 

Unsung performance of the game

On the winning goal by Kadri, Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov suggested to Kadri, who won five of 21 faceoffs, that Komarov take the draw in the Senators zone.

"Leo asked if he could take the faceoff, and I thought that was a pretty good idea seeing how I wasn't very good in the circle tonight," Kadri said. "He did a great job winning it."

Video: TOR@OTT: Kadri roofs his second goal of the game

 

They said it

"We're maturing at a pretty rapid pace. Early this season we definitely folded in these types of games, but now we're building it up. We're definitely coming out with confidence. We're playing the right way. We're being able to get these very important points. We caught up to [the Senators] now in the standings." -- Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews

 

"Tough game. They obviously had a better third than we did. I thought McElhinney had a great game, kept them in it, kind of stole one there. Yeah, just a frustrating game." -- Senators goaltender Mike Condon

 

"That was unbelievable. He played great and gave us an opportunity to win the game. That first star was definitely well deserved. He's a big guy. He moves laterally pretty well. He seems very athletic. Definitely a solid debut." -- Maple Leafs forward Nazem kadri on goalie Curtis McElhinney

 

Need to know

The Senators were 43-28 in the faceoff circle but lost critical draws on the go-ahead and insurance goals. … Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki had 10 hits; he leads the NHL with 190.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SNO, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Senators: At St. Louis Blues on Tuesday (8 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, FS-MW, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Kadri, McElhinney lift Leafs past Senators, 4-2

View More