The Toronto Maple Leafs found themselves playing from behind too many times against the Ottawa Senators.
That didn’t matter to James Reimer, who managed to stop 38 shots as the Maple Leafs rallied from three one-goal deficits and beat the Senators 5-3 on Sunday night.
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"It was a case of bending and not breaking," Reimer said. "They had opportunities, they worked hard and they battled to the dirty areas to get goals so kudos to them, but we managed to battle and get some gritty goals ourselves."
Peter Holland had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs while David Clarkson, James van Riemsdyk, Mike Santorelli and Josh Leivo also scored.
"It’s huge especially with the back-to-back we just had," Holland said, referring the Leafs’ win over the New York Rangers on Saturday night. "Anytime you can get two points against a divisional team it’s a big win. I thought it was a really good game and I thought both teams competed hard. It was great that we came out on top."
Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris and Mark Stone scored for the Senators, who lost for the first time in regulation at home this season. They are now 4-1-3 at Canadian Tire Centre.
The game was a makeup from the Oct. 22 scheduled contest that was postponed following the shooting at the War Memorial earlier in the day that took the life of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.
Prior to the game both the Senators and Leafs met at the War Memorial in downtown Ottawa to pay their respects in advance of Remembrance Day on Tuesday. The two teams shared in placing a wreath at the Canadian Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
"It’s a little unusual to meet and get together in the morning and pay our respects, but obviously it was a great thing to do and I think both clubs would do it again," Reimer said. "Nov. 11 means so much and you really don’t want to take for granted what all the people that have gone before us had done, so we went to pay our respects and thank them."
Clarkson had the only goal of the third period and gave Toronto its two-goal lead with 14 minutes to play.
Although he allowed five goals on 30 shots, Robin Lehner made some brilliant saves including one on Phil Kessel in the third when, while on his stomach, he reached out with his stick to swipe the puck away just before it crossed the goal line.
The Maple Leafs had the best scoring chance in the opening minutes of the game but Lehner made a great pad save on a one-timer from Leivo.
Seconds later, Hoffman intercepted a clearing attempt just inside Toronto’s blue line, moved into the face-off circle and put a wrist shot over the shoulder of Reimer for a 1-0 Senators lead less than 3 minutes into the game.
The Maple Leafs tied it with 3:35 remaining in the period when Holland took a shot that hit Lehner’s stick and was redirected over his shoulder into the top of net were it became lodged between the netting and the bar. There was confusion as it wasn’t immediately known where the puck was and the play was reviewed before the score was confirmed.
Just over a minute later, Turris beat Reimer with a wrist shot on a delayed penalty call as Bobby Ryan was hooked coming out of his own end. Ryan managed to get into the Toronto end and send a pass to Jared Cowen, who tipped it to Turris as he was entering the zone late.
"In the past couple of games we’ve been building and have been better but today was a setback," Turris said. "It something we’ll have to work on."
The Leafs tied the score again early in the second period on another funny bounce involving Lehner.
Van Riemsdyk took a shot as he crossed the blue line that hit Lehner in the shoulder, bounced high into the air and came down behind the goalie in the crease where van Riemsdyk tapped it in on his way by the net.
Less than two minutes later Stone gave the Senators their third lead of the game as he buried a rebound past Reimer during a power play at 4:04.
Leivo then scored his first goal of the season when he redirected a centering pass from Trevor Smith past Lehner at 6:21.
Toronto took its first lead as Santorelli scored a short-handed goal with 9:07 remaining in the period.
NOTES: Erik Condra, Patrick Wiercioch and Alex Chiasson were scratches for the Senators while scratches for the Maple Leafs were Daniel Winnik, Matt Frattin and Stuart Percy. … Before his first-period goal, Turris hadn’t scored a goal since the first game of the season, a span of 13 games. … Sunday’s game was the 100th meeting between the Senators and Maple Leafs. … The Maple Leafs recalled forward Trevor Smith from Toronto of the AHL earlier in the day.