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Chabot scores twice, leads Senators past Maple Leafs 5-3

October 7, 2018
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Ottawa Senators' Dylan DeMelo (2) gets a shot away as Toronto Maple Leafs' Travis Dermott (23) closes in during first period NHL hockey action in Toronto on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)

TORONTO (AP) — The play of Thomas Chabot might help the Ottawa Senators get over the loss of Erik Karlsson.

Chabot had two goals and an assist, Craig Anderson made 34 saves, and the Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 on Saturday night.

Dylan DeMelo and Chris Tierney, who were among the players acquired from the San Jose Sharks in a trade for Karlsson, also scored for Ottawa. Mark Stone added an empty-net goal with 24.3 seconds left.

Zack Smith chipped in with two assists for the rebuilding Senators, who have looked good with their young roster through two games and a 1-0-1 start.

The Senators are a franchise in the midst of a rebuild after a number of off-ice issues and the trading of Karlsson, their captain and star defenseman, in a six-player swap on the eve of training camp.

“You saw the offense ... the ceiling’s high,” Ottawa head coach Guy Boucher said of Chabot. “He’s going to become just as good defensively over time.

“I have so much faith in him.”

Chabot played 63 games with the Senators last season after failing to make the club out of training camp before finishing his rookie campaign with nine goals and 16 assists.

“Usually a defenseman gets into his prime around 23, 24,” he said of being thrust into top-pair duty minutes following the Karlsson deal. “It’s earlier than we expected.

“I’m just trying to take advantage of every opportunity.”

Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews and Morgan Rielly each had a goal and an assist for Toronto, which has a win and a loss in a wobbly start to the season.

Frederik Andersen stopped 19 shots for the Leafs.

“If you’re going to be 1-1, probably should have won tonight and lost against Montreal,” Toronto head coach Mike Babcock said. “We didn’t capitalize around the net tonight like we probably could have.”

Chabot snapped a 3-3 tie with his second goal of the game at 1:42 of the third period, sliding the puck through the skates of Toronto rookie Igor Ozhiganov off the rush before beating Andersen.

Ottawa’s Anderson made a nice stop on a Connor Brown deflection with 9:24 left in regulation to keep his team ahead on just the fourth shot of the period by Toronto.

The Senators nearly went ahead by two a couple minutes later, but Andersen was there to block Smith’s shot from close range after the Leafs failed to get the puck out.

Toronto made an expected late push and pulled Andersen with three minutes to go, but the Leafs couldn’t find an equalizer.

Ottawa led 1-0 after the first period, but Toronto struck early in the second to take a 2-1 lead. Rielly got things started 29 seconds in, taking a feed from Marner before Matthews scored his third of the season at 1:10.

The Senators evened the score at 3:49, when Chabot stepped around Tyler Ennis at the point and took advantage of some sloppy Leafs coverage to pick up his own rebound and beat Andersen.

Just 38 seconds later, Tierney got behind Toronto’s defense and beat Andersen between the pads for the Senators’ third goal on nine shots.

Andersen stopped Patrick Marleau to keep his team in front with a great pad save later in the period, but Marner raced between Ottawa defensemen Cody Ceci and Mark Borowiecki on the power play before faking the Senators goalie to the ice and sliding a shot home with less than two minutes left in the period to make it 3-3.

Toronto beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in overtime to open the season on Wednesday — a disjointed effort in which Leafs were stuck in their own zone for long stretches.

Ottawa, meanwhile, opened its season with a 4-3 overtime win over the Chicago Blackhawks in a game in which the Senators led 3-2 in the third on Thursday.

The Leafs got the better start they wanted Saturday, with Marner, Marleau and John Tavares all coming close early, but it was the Senators that took the lead at 9:42 of the first.

Chabot’s pass from the left corner in the offensive zone went off Smith’s stick to DeMelo, who beat Andersen along the ice to snap a personal 87-game goal drought that dated back to Nov. 26, 2016.

Marner had a chance to tie it with 5:47 left in the period on a penalty shot after getting slashed on a breakaway by Chris Wideman, but Anderson made a right pad save.

“The younger guys did a great job,” Boucher said. “And the older guys did a terrific job of anchoring them.”

NOTES: Ottawa winger Brady Tkachuk sat out with a groin injury for the second straight game. Head coach Guy Boucher said after the morning skate he’s hopeful the No. 4 pick in the June draft will be available to make his NHL debut Monday when the Senators visit the Boston Bruins. ... Backup goalie Garret Sparks is expected to start for Toronto on Sunday night in Chicago.

NEXT UP

Maple Leafs: Visit the Chicago Blackhawks on Sunday

Senators: Visit the Boston Bruins on Monday

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