Senators come back from down four, defeat Maple Leafs in OT
Evgenii Dadonov scored his second goal of the game at 2:19 of overtime, and the Ottawa Senators rallied from down four goals to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5 at Scotiabank Arena on Monday.
Dadonov won it when he scored on a breakaway seven seconds after blocking Morgan Rielly’s shot at the top of the crease with goalie Marcus Hogberg out of position.
“It’s hockey, anything can happen,” Dadonov said. “It’s good. So we didn’t stop playing. We just played shift by shift and score goal by goal. You didn’t really think about (the score). … (Rielly’s shot hit) somewhere in the pants. I play a lot, and sometimes you get into a position behind the goalie so you try to stop some shots.”
It was the first time in Senators history they came back to win after trailing by four goals.
Dadonov tied it 5-5 with 2:01 remaining when he batted a rebound out of midair with Hogberg pulled for an extra attacker. He has scored five goals in the past five games.
Connor Brown and Nick Paul each had a goal and an assist, and Hogberg made 34 saves for Ottawa (4-12-1), which defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1 on Saturday and has won two games in a row for the first time this season.
Auston Matthews had two goals and an assist to extend his point streak to 10 games (11 goals, four assists) for Toronto (11-3-2), which was coming off a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday and has lost two straight for the first time.
“It’s discouraging and definitely a step back for us,” Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. “I thought we were just really careless and sloppy with the puck. It’s something that’s been creeping into our game. It wasn’t everybody, but it was enough guys that we gave the game to them at a time where they really had nothing happening. They only got what we gave them.”
Matthews said, “They challenged us, and we didn’t really respond, and they did get their chances. We definitely blew this one, that’s for sure.”
Forward Joe Thornton had a goal and an assist in his return to the Toronto lineup after missing 10 games with an upper-body injury.
“A new day tomorrow,” Thornton said. “I’m sure we’ll look at some film tomorrow, work on some stuff and be ready for Wednesday.”
The Senators and Maple Leafs are scheduled to play the second of a three-game set here Wednesday.
Matthews scored on the power play with 59 seconds left in the second period to make it 5-1, but Paul cut it to 5-2 when he scored shorthanded with nine seconds left in the period.
Artem Zub made it 5-3 41 seconds into the third period when he came out of the penalty box and scored on a breakaway for his first NHL goal.
“Getting that goal, all of a sudden you’re thinking, ‘Oh boy, maybe there’s a chance,'” Ottawa coach D.J. Smith said. “And then we capitalized on our chances. There’s been a lot of games we’ve played well or better than the other team and should win. Tonight’s not one of those nights, but it was due to come our way.”
Brown got the Senators within 5-4 at 5:52 when he one-timed a pass from Colin White.
“When we got the fourth one, you could see the bench going, ‘Wow, we’re in this,'” Smith said. “It’s hard to believe when you’re down the way we were. And then all of a sudden, we got our legs, and that’s what momentum does.”
Keefe said he could sense bad habits seeping into Toronto’s play even before Ottawa gained momentum.
“It’s as bad as I’d felt about a 5-2 lead as probably I ever had,” Keefe said. “We had a talk as a team about cleaning things up for the third period. I thought we were in the right frame of mind, but giving up a shorthanded goal makes it tougher than it needs to be.”