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Holl scores winner as Leafs down Sens

TORONTO – Justin Holl scored the winner with 1:55 left in the third period and Ilya Samsonov made 25 saves as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2 on Saturday night.

William Nylander and David Kampf had the other goals for Toronto (2-1-0).

Claude Giroux, with a goal and an assist, and Shane Pinto replied for Ottawa (0-2-0), which got 29 saves from Anton Forsberg.

Holl, a defenceman known for his play at the other end of the rink, buried his first of the season after pinching down into the slot.

Nylander pushed the Leafs ahead 2-1 with 6:31 left in regulation off a pass from Auston Matthews for his second after the Senators couldn’t clear the defensive zone.

But the visitors responded 1:25 later when Giroux banged home a loose puck for his first with Ottawa.

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Samsonov started in place of Matt Murray, who was poised to get the call against his former team before leaving the morning skate at Scotiabank Arena with an abductor injury.

The Leafs announced about an hour before puck drop against their provincial rivals the 28-year-old had been placed on long-term injured reserve and will miss at least four weeks. Erik Kallgren, who was knocked out of the Toronto Marlies’ AHL opener Friday, was recalled and healthy enough to dress as the backup.

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Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas bet big on the Murray-Samsonov tandem — goaltenders with past success, but lots to prove — in the off-season after trading the oft-injured Petr Mrazek and letting all-star Jack Campbell walk in free agency.

With their rebuild over and a young core led by Brady Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Thomas Chabot a year older, the Senators had a headline-grabbing summer with the additions of Giroux, sniper Alex DeBrincat and goaltender Cam Talbot, who’s currently out with an upper-body injury.

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Toronto picked up its first victory of the season Thursday in a 3-2 triumph over Washington in Samsonov’s debut for the Leafs against the team that cut him loose in July.

Coming off a 4-1 loss in Buffalo to open its schedule, Ottawa took the lead on a power play at 9:09 of the first when Pinto ripped a one-timer off a Giroux feed for his second NHL goal after missing most of last season with a shoulder injury. Rookie defenceman Jake Sanderson picked up the second assist for his first point as a professional.

The Leafs tied the game with 16.4 seconds left in the middle period when Kampf redirected Jake Muzzin’s shot through Forsberg’s pads.

Ottawa had a chance to go up 2-0 on a power play earlier in the period, but Tkachuk hit the post before William Nylander also found iron at the other end on a breakaway.

Samsonov denied Josh Norris in tight off the rush early in the third before Mitch Marner came close from the slot on Forsberg.

The Leafs goaltender had to sharp moments later when Tyler Motte swept the puck off the stick of T.J. Brodie and on goal as the defenceman skated in front of Toronto’s net.


Murray played just 47 games in his two seasons with the Senators following a trade with Pittsburgh.

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The 28-year-old had a tough time staying healthy in the nation’s capital, going 15-25-3 with an .899 save percentage and 3.23 goals-against average.

Senators head coach D.J. Smith was Friday asked about Murray when it looked like his former netminder would get the start against Ottawa.

“Take nothing away from him,” Smith said. “He was hurt all the time. He had a lot of bad luck.”


Leafs: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday in third contest of a four-game homestand.

Senators: Host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday in their home opener, the first of five straight at Canadian Tire Centre.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 15, 2022.


Follow @JClipperton_CP on Twitter.

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