Senators back on horse vs. Leafs after blowout
TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs had Tuesday off to ponder an overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday after blowing a 2-0 lead late in the third period.
The Ottawa Senators, meanwhile, mercifully had no time to think about their 8-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night.
The Senators will be right back at it again Wednesday night when they play the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.
The Senators lost Bobby Ryan to a hand injury in the second period against Chicago and he is not expected to play Wednesday.
In losing to the Blue Jackets on Monday, after appearing to have the game under control, the Maple Leafs actually had been the better team for the first 15 minutes of the third period.
"I didn't think we came out and sat on it at all, we outshot them 14-4 in the third and, I thought, did a lot of really good things," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said after the game Monday. "We made a couple of mistakes -- lost a faceoff and didn't box out, a line change where we could have been patient; we were under no pressure and put it out and they came in on an odd-man rush.
"In the end that cost us the hockey game. It's all part of the learning process, we've got to get better. We also -- I don't know if you remember the play right at the end -- there was about 16 seconds left and we turned it over at their blue line to give them another go at it. That's just part of understanding what it takes to win."
While the Senators were focusing on the Blackhawks Tuesday, the Maple Leafs worked on a few of those weaknesses at practice.
Babcock put the loss into perspective, referring to the shootout win over the Vancouver Canucks on Saturday when the Maple Leafs overcame a 2-0 disadvantage in the third period.
"We talked about that, about how we stole a game from Vancouver with 10 minutes to go, and how (Columbus) did the same thing to us," Babcock said after the practice Tuesday. "You have to work hard every day to get results. You don't, and (the hockey gods) get you back."
"Unfortunately, when you're up that much with that little time left you never want to even get to overtime," Maple Leafs center Tyler Bozak said. "We still had a chance to win in overtime, but we couldn't pull it off."
"The third period was probably our best period by far until the last five minutes," Toronto defenseman Ron Hainsey said.
The Maple Leafs (25-16-3) are 5-3-2 in their past 10 games. The Senators (14-18-9) are 3-5-2 in their past 10.
Derick Brassard and Mark Stone scored Tuesday for the Senators, who have six wins in their past 25 games.
"Not good," Stone said. "It doesn't sit well in our stomachs. ... You never want to get beat at home 8-2. You don't want to get beat on the road 8-2. You just never want to play those types of games. It's more frustrating right now. Again, we just keep putting ourselves in holes. It's 4-0 and, yeah, we make it 4-2 but you just have to use so much energy to try to get back into a game like that. At the end of the day, the better team won."
"We let in eight goals. How many do we need?" Senators captain Erik Karlsson said. "We don't do a good enough job in our defensive zone to limit the chances. I don't know how many shots they had but it was well above 40 (43) and, if you give that to the opponents, some of them are going to go whether it looks easy or not."
The Senators defeated the Maple Leafs 6-3 at Ottawa on Oct. 21.
Updated January 10, 2018