Brady Tkachuk’s two goals power Ottawa Senators past Toronto Maple Leafs

Brady Tkachuk’s two goals power Ottawa Senators past Toronto Maple Leafs

TORONTO — Brady Tkachuk scored two goals and Anton Forsberg made 31 saves as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-2 on Friday night.

Claude Giroux with a goal and an assist, Thomas Chabot, Drake Batherson and Derick Brassard had the other goals for Ottawa (22-23-3). Tim Stutzle added two assists as the Senators clinched their first win at Scotiabank Arena with fans in attendance since October 2018.

William Nylander and Joey Anderson answered for Toronto (30-12-8), which was out with a knee sprain minus Auston Matthews, who will keep Starcenter out for at least three weeks.

Ilya Samsonov, who was set to get the night off, made a surprise start and finished with 28 saves as the Leafs suffered only their fourth regular home loss of 2022-23.

Matt Murray was supposed to see his first action in goal for the Leafs since Jan. 17, but appeared to make a shot high from Nylander in warm-up and took a seat at the end of the bench in place of Toronto’s crease before the opening faceoff.

Matthews, who will miss next week’s NHL All-Star Game, sustained his injury in Wednesday’s 3-2 overtime win over New York Rangers. The Leafs fell to 31-17-2 as the reigning Hart Trophy winner has been out of the lineup since picking him overall in the 2016 draft.

Toronto captain John Tavares took Matthews’ place between Mitch Marner and Michael Bunting on the top line to start the game while Pontus Holmberg brought Nylander and Calle Jarnkrok into the middle.

With a 2-2 second-half draw, Ottawa secured their third lead of the night on a power play when Brassard’s centering pass went through Toronto defender Timothy Liljegren to score his seventh goal of the season.

The Senators then made it 4-2 at 4:37 p.m. when Batherson ripped his 15th against Samsonov.

Tkachuk then put things to bed 3:32 into the third when he flicked his 18th upstairs on a shot that hit the back post of the Toronto goal.

Giroux made it 6-2 with his 17th five minutes from time.

Ottawa opened the first goal at 1:32 when Chabot fired his eighth – and first in 18 games – with teams playing 4-on-4.

Toronto equalized at 7:15 when Anderson took a pass from Alexander Kerfoot and fired his second shortside at Forsberg.

The Senators went 2-1 in just 23 seconds when Tkachuk put his 18th past Samosonov, who started a fifth straight game after the Leafs flipped the puck.

But Toronto responded to a power play at 2:44 when Nylander hit home his 27th from the crease after a Tavares first shot leaked into tight Forsberg.


The former Senators goaltender was set to make his first comeback since he allowed four goals from eight shots against Florida 11 days ago. Samsonov replaced Murray that night and held the line for Toronto to secure a comeback win in overtime before beating the next four of the Leafs 3-0-1. Head coach Sheldon Keefe said Friday morning Murray handled the situation well as he awaited his turn. “He put his work into it,” Keefe said. “He wants to play. He’s a proud guy. Both guys are fighting for the net.” Murray, traded to Toronto in the summer, was also due to face Ottawa in October but suffered a groin injury during morning skating that kept him out until mid-November.


Ottawa started with 45 points from 47 games, just five more than the club had at the same stage last season. The Senators made a number of headline-grabbing additions over the summer, but depth remains an issue. Center No. 1 Josh Norris (shoulder injury) only played eight games in 2022-23 and will miss the rest of the game, while top pair defenseman Artem Zub (lower body injury) has only appeared 21 times due to various ailments. “Not the same team we might have thought,” Ottawa head coach DJ Smith said. “All we can do is play the games we have ahead of us. I think our numbers will be better in the second half.”


Senators: host Montreal on Saturday.

Leaves: host Washington on Sunday.

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on January 27, 2023.


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