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game recap

Maple Leafs fail to clinch, lose to Senators

Can't gain in race for second in Atlantic Division

by Callum Fraser / NHL.com Correspondent

Duclair scores on one-timer

TOR@OTT: Duclair rips one-timer past Sparks

Anthony Duclair one-times Oscar Lindberg's pass by Garret Sparks to give the Senators a 1-0 lead in the 2nd period

  • 00:53 •

OTTAWA -- The Toronto Maple Leafs failed to clinch a berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, losing 4-2 to the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

"We had lots of opportunities," Toronto coach Mike Babcock said. "We did lots of good things. In the end, we didn't finish around their net enough."

 

[WATCH: All Maple Leafs vs. Senators highlights]

 

The Maple Leafs (45-26-7), who would have clinched with a win, are six points behind the Boston Bruins for second place in the Atlantic Division with four games remaining. Toronto has lost seven of its past 10 games (3-5-2).

Anthony Duclair had two goals and an assist for the Senators (28-44-6), who have been eliminated from playoff contention.

"We showed a lot of character, a lot of resiliency," Duclair said. "[I'm] just proud of how we handled ourselves tonight. It's one of those games you're motivated to play in [with] the building packed with Leafs fans."

Video: TOR@OTT: Ceci's goal puts Senators back on top

Craig Anderson made 42 saves and won his third straight start after an 0-13-1 stretch.

"He was very good," Ottawa coach Marc Crawford said. "He seemed to do everything. They outshot us tonight (44-22) and they had a lot of quality chances, but Craig stood tall all night. He did everything and more that you could ask."

Cody Ceci scored on a 4-on-3 with a wrist shot into the top left corner to give the Senators a 3-2 lead at 6:41 of the third period, 1:12 after the Maple Leafs tied the game with two goals in 27 seconds.

Video: TOR@OTT: Brown goes top shelf to tie game

"I just have to make more saves," said Maple Leafs goalie Garret Sparks, who made 18. "We come roaring back to tie the game. It would've been a huge save to make on the third one. Obviously the first two weren't great either."

Duclair one-timed a pass from Oscar Lindberg at the top of the slot to give the Senators a 1-0 lead at 5:24 of the second period. Magnus Paajarvi scored five-hole with a wrist shot from the slot to make it 2-0 at 14:43.

"It was a tight hockey game, obviously," Toronto forward John Tavares said. "We were doing a pretty good job of generating some chances, getting pucks to the net, not giving them too much time and space. But we just can't give up those opportunities, especially into the middle of the ice that make it tough on our goaltenders."

Auston Matthews' wrist shot from the slot went top right on the power play to make it 2-1 at 5:02 of the third period. Connor Brown elected to shoot on a 2-on-1 and scored with a wrist shot into the top right corner at 5:29 to tie it 2-2.

Video: TOR@OTT: Anderson kicks out Marner's bid

"I thought we responded [to the tying goal] in the right way," Anderson said. "I thought we didn't get down on ourselves. I think we knew we made a mistake and gave up an odd-man rush, but I thought the very next shift we got back to basics, we got back to what was giving us some success and made it difficult for them."

Duclair scored into an empty net on the power play with 1:13 remaining for the 4-2 final.

 

They said it

"This week is an important one for us. Like I said a couple weeks ago, it's that time of year, you really need to dial it in, and ramp up individually your play, and as a team, really make sure we're all on the same page offensively, defensively, in all areas, so we can execute all over the ice and make things easier for one another." -- Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews

"[It was a] tough outcome, but I feel like it was a good stepping stone for me, getting comfortable coming back. I think Martin [Marincin] and I had a really good first period, and then a couple of breakdowns later on that they capitalized on, but a lot to be happy about." -- Maple Leafs defenseman Travis Dermott on playing 17:43 after missing 14 games with a shoulder injury

"I thought that was the best factor in the game tonight: We ended up staying with it. It was a terrific play by White, Tkachuk and Ceci on the [3-2] goal. A super shot by Cody Ceci. But more importantly, how they got the puck out of our end, they defended well, they came out together, they rushed up the ice and they got the outmanned chance. It's how you need to play." -- Senators coach Marc Crawford

 

Need to know

Maple Leafs forward Patrick Marleau played his 1,653rd NHL game, passing Mark Recchi for fifth in NHL history. ... Ottawa won the regular season series 3-1-0 against Toronto.

 

What's next

Maple Leafs: At the New York Islanders on Monday (7 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, SNO, NHL.TV)

Senators: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Senators spoil Leafs' chance to clinch with 4-2 win

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