OTTAWA, Ontario (AP)Alexander Kerfoot scored the deciding goal in the ninth round of the shootout, and Toronto Maple Leafs beat the Ottawa Senators 5-4 on Saturday night.
Calle Jarnkrok scored twice for Toronto in regulation, Mitch Marner had a goal and an assist, and Jake McCable also scored. Matthews and John Tavares each had two assists, and Matt Murray stopped 48 shots against his former team as the Maple Leafs won their second straight.
Ottawa’s Alex DeBrincat and Drake Batherson and Toronto’s William Nylander and Auston Matthews scored in the first three rounds of the tiebreaker. Derick Brassard then scored for the Senators in the seventh round and Michael Bunting tied it for the Maple Leafs before Kerfoot – the 18th skater – won it.
Murray admitted he didn’t even see the winner.
“You just try to hold the fort as long as you can,” he said. “By the end of it, I kept my head down when Kerfoot went in. I had my head kind of buried in my hands. I wasn’t watching, just listening.”
Brady Tkachuk had two goals, Tim Stützle had a goal and an assist, and Julien Gauthier also scored for Ottawa. Travis Hamonic had two assists and Mads Sogaard finished with 25 saves in the Senators’ fifth straight loss.
“Another night where I thought we deserved to win,” Tkachuk said. “Of course, anything happens in a shootout there, but (Sogaard) gave us a chance to win and it’s unfortunate but a lot of guys stepped up tonight.”
Murray made a great save on Stützle in overtime to keep the game going as the Senators held the advantage in play during the extra period.
“A marathon of a game,” Murray said. “Super exciting game to be a part of. A lot of emotion out there, a lot of energy in the building. Obviously, nice to get that extra point. It was a fun one to be a part of.”
Trailing 4-2 midway through the third period, Tkachuk tied it for Ottawa with two goals in a nine-minute stretch.
Tkachuk beat Murray from the slot to pull the Senators within one with 9:18 left, and then got his second of the night and 30th of the season to tie it on the power play with 10.1 seconds remaining.
“We always want to win, but in the end you always have to see the whole picture and fighting back against a team like that and two goals down, I think we did a great job to stay with it the whole time,” Stützle said. “We were there when we had to be and unfortunately really no luck in the shootout.”
Stützle gave the Senators a 2-1 lead with a short-handed goal as he raced up the right side and fired a shot past Murray from the right circle for his 35th at 5:32 of the second.
Marner scored on the power play to tie it just 37 seconds later for his 26th.
Jarnkrok’s one-time off a pass from Matthews put the Maple Leafs ahead at 9:16 of the middle period, and his second of the night and 17th of the season made it 4-2 at 9:39 of the third.
“He’s a great player,” Matthews said of Jarnkrok. “I mean, he’s just so sneaky good at so many things. … So smart, gets into great spots all over the ice, not just in the offensive zone. He’s just a really easy guy to play with. Obviously, his release, it’s one of the prettiest releases I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a lot of fun watching him get the puck off.”
McCabe beat Sogaard from between the circles to give Toronto a 1-0 lead 3:11 into the game, and Erik Brannstrom’s shot deflected off Gauthier up and in over Murry to tie it with 5:32 remaining in the first.
Maple Leafs: At New York Islanders on Tuesday night in the second of a five-game trip.
Senators: At Pittsburgh on Monday night to open a two-game trip.
AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports