The Leafs fell 5-4 to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday night, but thrilled the Air Canada Centre fans with a comeback rally after trailing 3-0.
Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak had second period goals to bring Toronto to within 3-2. Then Peter Holland evened the game with a power play marker early in the third frame.
After the Senators retook the lead on a goal by Mark Stone, the Leafs answered with a bizarre goal by Daniel Winnik. The Leafs forward beat goalie Craig Anderson, but the puck ricocheted off the net camera, and was initially ruled as ‘no goal’ as play continued on the ice. But Winnik’s first goal of the year was upheld upon video review.
Toronto dueled their provincial rivals to 3-on-3 overtime for the first time this season. The heart-stopping five-minute session saw numerous scoring chances exchanged, ending in a deadlock. Mike Hoffmann beat Leafs goalie James Reimer for the shootout winner.
The Leafs players shared their thoughts on 3-on-3 overtime play:
Daniel Winnik: A little nerve-wracking, I’m not going to lie. Not much happened when we were out there, but that’s what we were kind of going for. They’re not scoring, we’re finding the puck. The fans are at the edge of their seats, and when you’re out there against their top guys, Spaling and I were out there against Stone, Turris and Carlson. It’s scary when those guys get the puck and they’ve got open ice.
Dion Phaneuf: You have a lot more ice, and you’ve got to be so smart with how you hold the puck and don’t give it away on a shot. I think the biggest thing is playing percentages, and you’ve got to have good scoring opportunities to shoot the puck. Because as soon as it misses, or if it comes off his pads, it’s an odd-man rush the other way. It’s exciting, I think it’s great for the game and for our fans, it adds another element of excitement – skilled guys that are fast – they like to have lots of ice, and you can see it. It’s exciting.