Maple Leafs fail to clinch, lose to Senators
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.”
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.”
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.
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)