October 04, 2016 - 10:37 PM
SASKATOON - Bobby Ryan disappointed the partisan Toronto Maple Leafs crowd in Saskatoon.
Just 21 seconds into overtime while working on the power play, Ryan one-timed a slap pass from Erik Karlsson in the left slot to lead the Ottawa Senators to a 3-2 victory over the Leafs on Tuesday night at the SaskTel Centre.
Ryan's goal broke the hearts of a large majority of the 13,094 in attendance, who helped create a pro-Leafs vibe throughout the night. Ryan said the neutral site felt more like a road game.
"I think when you are so far away from home it always does (feel like a road game) no matter what," said Ryan. "Hopefully, we turned some blue sweaters into reds, and they go home and buy Sens jerseys now."
With the way the Leafs carried play in the second and third periods, it looked like they would reward their large contingent of followers.
Ottawa entered the first intermission with a 1-0 lead on a goal by Derick Brassard. The Leafs jumped out front 2-1 inside of the first nine minutes of the third on goals by Byron Froese and Kasperi Kapanen.
Senators left-winger Matt Puempel tied the game 2-2 with 5:36 to play in the third.
Veteran Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson made 31 saves going the distance in goal, and Ryan said the netminder's play gave his side a chance to battle back.
"Andy was the difference for us," said Ryan. "Even though we gave up the two in the third kind of close together, he calms things down back there. He gave us an opportunity to win.
"We found a lucky one on the turnover in the third and got a power play. We found a way to reward him."
On the Toronto side, Frederick Andersen made his pre-season debut in goal turning away 12 of 13 shots in the first two periods. Antoine Bibeau turned away two of four shots entering the contest at the start of the third.
Andersen was acquired by the Leafs in late June from the Anaheim Ducks and was quickly signed to a five-year deal worth $25-million US. The 27-year-old had been nursing a suspected shoulder injury suffered in an Olympic qualifier playing for Denmark last month.
Overall, he was pleased with his performance outside of the fact the Senators scored on him with 1:31 to play in the first period, when Brassard tipped home a point shot from Karlsson.
"I didn't see the shot," said Andersen. "I have to battle a bit harder than I did to see the release and have a chance to get over.
"It was a smart play by them. It is something to keep working on."
While the Leafs held a 33-17 edge in shots on goal, Senators head coach Guy Boucher liked the fact his players weathered the storm and found a way to win. He said the only part of the game he had lots of concern about was the first 10 minutes of the third, when the Leafs jumped ahead.
"What I liked is that after those 10 minutes we reloaded emotionally," said Boucher. "Guys were starting to get a little frustrated there
"I like the emotional response that we had after that of calming down, taking care of the penalties and just emotionally being able to be focused for the last part."
The Leafs return to action on Thursday, when they travel to Montreal to play the Canadiens. The Senators close their pre-season schedule on Friday at home against the Buffalo Sabres.
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016