Pyatt scores late, Anderson makes 44 saves as Senators beat Maple Leafs 4-3
TORONTO — Tom Pyatt scored the winner with 3:05 to play as the Ottawa Senators beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 on Wednesday in the final game for both teams before starting their bye weeks.
Pyatt took a feed from Matt Duchene on a 3-on-1 after Morgan Rielly got caught pinching at Ottawa’s blue line and beat Frederik Andersen high blocker side.
Thomas Chabot, Mike Hoffman and Gabriel Dumont also scored for the Senators (15-18-9), who were coming off an 8-2 loss against Chicago a night earlier.
Craig Anderson bounced back from being yanked against the Blackhawks by making 44 saves in the victory.
Andreas Borgman, James van Riemsdyk and Rielly scored for the Maple Leafs (25-17-3) while Andersen made 29 saves in defeat.
Toronto’s next game is Tuesday when it hosts St. Louis. Ottawa returns to the ice Jan. 18 at home against the Blues.
Auston Matthews was flying early, with three scoring chances in the opening minutes of the first period, but had nothing to show for the effort other than a shot off the crossbar.
Chabot opened the scoring when he attempted a cross-crease pass only for the puck to bounce off Roman Polak’s foot and past Andersen at 11:26 of the first.
Van Riemsdyk had a chance to tie it late in the period on a 2-on-1 but Anderson was there to make a glove save.
Hoffman got inside position on van Riemsdyk in front of the Leafs net and finished off a pass from Duchene with an easy tap-in to make it 2-0 just 1:52 into the second period.
Rielly nearly put Toronto on the board on a power play but his point shot went off the crossbar.
Toronto couldn’t solve Anderson through 36 minutes despite having the first three power plays of the game and 28 shots against the Ottawa netminder up to that point — including eight alone from van Riemsdyk.
Finally, after killing off Ottawa’s first power-play chance of the game, Borgman got one past Anderson from the point with 1:50 to play in the second.
Van Riemsdyk didn’t make a mistake with his ninth shot of the night, taking a pass from Tyler Bozak and going through his legs with the puck before beating Anderson from in close 56 seconds into the third period.
Dumont put Ottawa back ahead 3-2 only 1:21 later, following up his initial shot off the endboards that bounced out front of the net for a second attempt.
Rielly evened the score once again, beating a screened Anderson with a point shot at 12:28.
Leo Komarov hit Jean-Gabriel Pageau awkwardly into the sideboards late in the game but Pageau appeared to be OK despite going to the bench.
Mike Babcock pulled Andersen with over two minutes to play, looking for the equalizer after Pyatt’s go-ahead goal, but couldn’t get it.
Notes: Ottawa’s Bobby Ryan missed the game with a hand injury suffered the night before against Chicago. There is no time table for his return. He was replaced by Filip Chlapik, who was recalled from AHL Belleville… Connor Carrick was in for Travis Dermott on Toronto’s blue line… Matthews was named to the all-star team for the second straight season earlier in the day while defenceman Erik Karlsson was selected for the fifth time.
Kyle Cicerella, The Canadian Press