Our previous night's defeat to the Devils was defintely one of the toughest results of this difficult season, and that's saying a lot. While the sad news of Brendan Burke's passing simply can't be measured, perhaps getting back to hockey quickly again will do some good for the fans and players alike. The Battle of (yawn) Ontario resumes with the Sens coming into Toronto riding a ridiculous 11-game winning streak.
Before the game begins there is a moment of silence for Brendan Burke.
Bob Cole's voice calling tonight's game on CBC. Wonderful.
18:59 Penalty. A holding call behind the Ottawa goal. Leafs go to the powerplay early as Carkner goes to the box.
18:24 Good shot by Phaneuf on a one-timer from Kaberle, stopped by Elliotte.
17:30 Phaneuf blast blocked by Ruutu.
16:59 Penalty expires.
16:30 Hanson throws a hit deep in the Ottawa zone.
15:59 Penalty. Kulemin taken down a centre-ice. Picard for tripping.
15:16 GOAL!!! Kessel scores. Phaneuf, set up by Kaberle, blasts one off the post. Kessel grabs the rebound and gets two whacks at it, bouncing it in. Powerplay goal, Kessel, from Phaneuf and Kaberle.
14:50 Orr with a spin-around shot in the slot, stopped by Elliotte.
13:25 Alfie gets the boos.
12:45 Giguere handles the puck smoothly to keep the Leafs out of danger, then holds a glove save for a whistle after the Leafs turn over the puck, killing momentum. Little things sometimes make a big difference.
11:35 Fight! Orr and Carkner. Gee whiz. Orr destroys Carkner with 3 solid shots to the face. The lights are still on but it looks like there's nobody home for Carkner who gets sent to the dressing room.
9:00 Schenn throws a good hit.
8:00 Giguere with a solid save at the side of the goal and holds the puck, ending another dangerous Ottawa shift early.
6:55 Michalek with a partial breakaway, Giguere makes the save look easy.
6:25 Alfie cutting in on net, save Giguere, then gets bumped by the Ottawa Captain. No penalty! Great save Giguere. Can't believe there's no call for goaltender interference. Junk.
6:08 Penalty. Kovalev snaps Bozak's stick for a stupid penalty. Leafs' third powerplay of the period.
4:50 Nothing doin' with the man-advantage. Mitchell falls for no reason and the Senators clear the puck again.
4:08 Powerplay ends without a shot on goal.
3:45 GOAL!!! Luke Schenn. My God! What a goal! Sailing over the blue line like Bobby Orr, Schenn rifles a slap shot past Elliott. 2-0 Toronto. Sjostrom and Wallin get assists on OLAS' goal.
3:17 GOAL!!! Beautiful goal. Tic-tac-toe play between 4 players. Schenn starts it off but I don't think he's going to get an assist. Kessel and Bozak assisting on Ponikarovsky' 20th goal. Correction: After announcing the goal as Poni's, it's determined that the puck went in off an Ottawa player and Bozak gets credit for the goal. Kessel with an assist still, and Schenn picks up the second assist.
1:40 2-on-1. Hanson shooting, Elliotte makes the save, then Carkner is called for elbowing Mitchell behind the play.
0:25 Hanson gives the puck away but then does a nice job backchecking and spoils a breakaway for the Sens.
Period ends. Shots 13-11 for Toronto, score 3-0. Giguere's 4th scoreless period for the Leafs.
19:40 Great diving shot block by Poni.
17:58 Penalty. Kovalev for hooking. in the Ottawa zone.
16:50 Not a good shoot-in by Phaneuf but the Leafs retain possession after Elliotte gives the puck away.
16:00 Kuelmin bangs a puck loose from Elliotte's pads and the puck trickles past the open goal. Hanson isn't there in time to jam it in.
14:34 Penalty. Good chance for the Sens. Neal's shot stopped then another chance on the rebound, stopped by Giguere. However a holding penalty on the play to Luke Schenn.
12:55 Phaneuf, XLB get signals crossed. Spezza carries the puck off-side.
12:30 Hanson, Stempniak 2-on-1, shot by Hanson stopped by Elliotte's blocker. Shorthanded pressure continues as Hanson gets 2 more shots. Penalty expires.
8:50 Great chance for the Sens. Giguere somehow keeps it out. Cheechoo's shot from the slot is stopped through a screen and then the rebound gets lost in traffic as Regin can't bang it in.
7:35 Penalty. Ponikarovsky for hooking. Seems like a weak call.
7:00 Spezza nearly breaks in, gets hit, spun around, loses the puck.
6:30 Fans are really on Alfredsson.
6:10 Great shift by Stempniak. Nice backchecking and throws a big hit before going off, fans applauding.
5:35 Penalty expires.
5:05 Kessel to Bozak, one-timer stopped by Elliotte.
4:00 Gunnarsson's hard shot from the point hits Elliotte in the chest.
3:20 Cheechoo stopped from in close on his own rebound.
2:00 Sjostrom with great puck retrieval behind the Sens goal, centres to Kulemin who just misses the tap in.
1:35 GOAL!!! Kessel. Wow. Kessel carries the puck through the neutral zone and over the line and fires a lazer past Elliotte. Huge game for Kessel. His 3rd point tonight, and his 20th goal of the season. Assists to Bozak and Poni.
0:10 Phaneuf shot from the blueline is a bullet. Elliotte hangs on.
Period ends. Shots in that period 17-11 for the Leafs, 30-22 overall. Score 4-0. Giguere has 5 straight shut-out periods, 100 minutes without giving up a goal, since joining the Leafs.
20:00 Leclaire replaces Elliotte in goal for Ottawa.
18:30 Regin shot from in close off Giguere's shoulder.
17:40 Kaberle's shot gets through a screen, nice save by Leclaire.
17:25 Kaberle's helmet knocked off, still plays the puck cooly. Even cooler now, actually.
16:40 Big rebound by Giguere, bit of a mad scramble but no one can find the puck as it bounces harmlessly away.
16:16 Penalty. Orr goes for crosschecking Neil in front of the net.
15:00 Fisher cuts into the zone and gets a backhand shot on goal and then bumps Giguere.
14:45 Sjostrom with a nifty chance shorthanded, Leclaire had to be sharp.
14:00 Stempniak blocks a shot and then breaks the other way, fires a slapshot wide from just inside the line.
11:43 GOAL!!! Luke Schenn. Holy God! Schenn does itagain. A 2-on-1 with Hanson and Schenn plays the shot the whole way, firing the puck past Lecalire. 5-nothin'. This is looking to be the Leafs most lopsided victory of the season. Luke Schenn having an awesome game. 3-point night.
10:50 Solid "Go Leafs Go!" chant.
10:00 Orr banged along the boards by Volchenkov.
9:28 Penalty. Kulemin hit from behind by Regin. Another offensive zone infraction. Pretty sloppy. Sens winning streak goes out with a whimper.
9:15 Schenn looking for the hat-trick on the powerplay, fires from dead-centre on the blueline, stopped by Leclaire.
8:22 Penalty. Leafs powerplay ends as Hanson gets called for boarding, yet another penalty 180-feet from the goal. Not a great call, but it's 5-0 so who cares.
8:00 Leafs fans doing the wave? This may be our one chance this year to celebrate a victory like this. Go on. Let it all out.
7:28 Leafs survive 4-on-4. Sens powerplay begins.
6:22 Sens powerplay goes by without a good chance. Leafs fans still doing the wave and getting louder. This is more then just cheering for this one game. This is a salute to the new Leafs - the team that Burke is building - that seems re-energized and has the fans excited again. And by extension, it's a salute to Brian Burke the man himself, and then the emotion kicks in, and it's an outpourring of appreciation and spirit.
5:15 God, listen to the fans. Huge "Go Leafs Go!" chant.
5:05-4:05 Energy from the fans carries the game for another minute, play is mostly held to the perimeter, dump in, dump out.
2:05 Ottawa running out the clock. No hitting.
0:30 Ruutu drives the net. Great save by Giguere to preserve the shutout.
0:00 Game ends. Back-to-back shutouts for Giguere. Six periods without a goal since joining the Leafs. Unbelievable. What a game for Kessel and Schenn. Both of them have 2 goals and both assist on the other goal by Bozak. Honourable mention to Hanson who also played a great game at both ends of the ice.
The Third Star - J.S Giguere
The Second Star - Luke Schenn
The First Star - Phil Kessel
The BoOBbB continues...