Samsonov frustrates Senators as Leafs win 3-0
OTTAWA — Toronto’s Ilya Samsonov made 30 saves to blank the Ottawa Senators 3-0 Saturday night.
Michael Bunting, William Nylander and Radim Zohorna each scored for the Maple Leafs (44-20-10).
Mads Sogaard, who started the game in net, allowed three goals on 16 shots. Cam Talbot stopped four shots in the final 20 minutes.
Talbot started the third for the Senators (37-34-5) and Sogaard was not present on the bench for the period.
The loss could put an end to any chance the Senators had of staying in contention for the wild-card playoff spot in the NHL's Eastern Conference.
Trailing 3-0, the Senators looked to capitalize on a power play midway through the period, but were unsuccessful. Looking to generate some opportunities the Senators pulled their goaltender with five minutes remaining in regulation.
Bunting opened the scoring early in the second taking advantage of a loose puck knocked down by Nick Holden. He wristed it past Sogaard.
Midway through the period the Leafs won a draw and Nylander took it in the slot and beat Sogaard under the arm to take a 2-0 lead. It was Nylander’s first goal in four games and just his second in the past nine.
With under two minutes remaining in the period, Zohorna — playing his first game with Toronto — scored his first goal.
The Senators outshot the Leafs 10-5 in the opening period and had the better of the chances, but the game remained scoreless.
Ottawa’s Derick Brassard had surgery on a broken fibula after being injured Thursday. D Travis Hamonic also missed Saturday’s game. Toronto’s Ryan O'Reilly practised Friday for the first time since he was injured March 4. Wayne Simmonds was still unable to play and so the Leafs dressed 11 forwards and seven defencemen.
Senators: Head to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets Sunday night.
Leafs: Host the Detroit Red Wings Sunday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 1, 2023.
Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press