Giordano’s OT goal lifts Maple Leafs past Senators 5-4
OTTAWA, Ontario (AP) — Mark Giordano scored 3:26 into overtime to lead the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 5-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night.
Mitchell Marner scored twice in regulation for the Maple Leafs. Michael Bunting and Kyle Clifford also had goals for Toronto, which got 25 saves from Erik Kallgren.
“We didn’t come out the way we wanted to,” Marner said. “We knew they were going to come at us fast and try to get behind us. They did a good job of that, but I thought the second period and third period there we kind of just took over and played the game we needed to. And we got the result we wanted.”
Tim Stutzle had two goals, and Michael Del Zotto and Dylan Gambrell also scored for Ottawa. Anton Forsberg made 36 saves.
Ottawa had its biggest crowd of the season — but it appeared the majority of the 18,655 at Canadian Tire Centre were cheering for the Leafs.
“It was a pretty good crowd for us tonight,” Giordano said. “I thought there were a lot of Leaf fans in the building. Really good atmosphere — I’ve noticed that since I’ve been here, the atmosphere in away buildings. It’s pretty nice to know that wherever you play, you know you’re going to get that good buzz in the building.”
Stutzle broke a 3-3 tie at the six-minute mark of the third period, taking advantage of a giveaway by Ilya lyubushkin to score his 20th of the season and second of the game. Stutzle has six goals and seven assists in his last eight games. He also nearly won it in overtime, but Kallgren was able to make the save.
“He continues to get better,” Senators coach D.J. Smith said of Stutzle. “He’s playing against the league’s best and he’s not backing down. Again, he might be the best player out there — he’s one of them. There’s certainly some high-end players over there, but Timmy’s really coming.”
But Marner tied it again, scoring his second of the game at the midway mark of the period to make it 4-4.
Ottawa jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period on goals by Stutzle and Del Zotto.
“I thought for a bit there we were outworked and outcompeted,” Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “From the time they made it 3-1, though, I thought our guys really dug in from that point on and we were really good.”
Toronto stormed back in the second, cutting the deficit to a goal when Clifford tipped in Justin Holl’s shot for his first of the season.
Ottawa took a 3-1 lead midway through the second as Austin Watson fired a shot through traffic and Gambrell tipped it past Kallgren. The assist gave Watson his 100th career point in his 400th NHL game.
Toronto made it a one-goal game just over a minute later when Bunting jammed in the puck from in close. Marner tied it late in the period when he one-timed T.J. Brodie’s drop pass from the top of the faceoff circle.
NOTES: Ottawa’s Colin White was placed in COVID-19 protocol before the game, forcing defenseman Victor Mete into action, but as a forward. … Mathieu Joseph remains out of the Senators’ lineup and may not be able to return before the end of the season.
Maple Leafs: Host the New York Islanders on Sunday night.
Senators: At Seattle on Monday night.
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