Better start, Bunting scores his first and the Maple Leafs avoid a goaltending scare to beat Sens

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Michael Bunting has introduced some feistiness in his preliminary video games with the Maple Leafs.


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On Saturday night time, the Scarborough native confirmed off his fingers for the primary time at Scotiabank Area.

The scrappy winger scored an important purpose within the third interval, giving the Leafs a two-goal cushion on the way in which to a 3-1 victory in opposition to the Ottawa Senators.

Earlier than he scored at 7:57, Bunting waited out Senators defenceman Victor Mete, moved to his forehand and beat goaltender Anton Forsberg with a low shot to the glove aspect.

The victory, the Leafs’ second in three video games to start out 2021-22, exacted some revenge within the Battle of Ontario following a Senators win in Ottawa on Thursday.

Signed to a two-year contract in July, Bunting has a protracted solution to go earlier than he makes Leafs Nation overlook about Zach Hyman. The early returns, although, are promising.


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Jack Campbell was his typical regular self within the Leafs web, making 20 saves, however the membership had fairly a special take a look at the backup place.

Because of the groin harm suffered by Petr Mrazek, defenceman Justin Holl’s sickness and salary-cap restraints, the Leafs have been compelled to go outdoors the field, signing College of Toronto goalie Alexander Bishop to a one-day novice tryout contract.

The Leafs didn’t have the money available to recall Michael Hutchinson; now that they’ve performed one recreation brief in purpose, the Leafs will get cap aid to summon Hutchinson on an emergency foundation.

Holl had chilly signs and the outcomes of his COVID-19 take a look at had not but come again; had Holl been wholesome, the Leafs might have despatched defenceman Timothy Liljegren, who doesn’t want waivers, to the Toronto Marlies and recalled Hutchinson. As a substitute, Liljegren made his season debut in Holl’s absence, was partnered with Jake Muzzin and had an help on Bunting’s purpose.


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Most significantly, Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe stated the staff doesn’t anticipate Mrazek to be out for the long run.

Bishop participated within the morning skate, however that was the extent of his motion in a Leafs uniform. It’s important to suppose the Toronto group exhaled when Campbell obtained by way of the sport and not using a scratch.

“It simply comes all the way down to the truth that the flat cap has created some conditions right here which might be much more tough to handle,” Keefe stated of the odd scenario.

“Whether or not you’re a coach or a participant, you don’t give a lot thought to the backup goaltender. It has nothing to do with what we’re attempting to give attention to.”

The Sens obtained some momentum within the second interval once they killed off a two-man Leafs benefit that lasted one minute six seconds, and climbed again into the sport once they scored a power-play purpose at 17:42.


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With the largely unnoticeable Nick Ritchie serving a cross-checking minor, Josh Norris slipped the puck beneath Campbell at 17:42.

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A Keefe problem for offside washed out what would have been the tying purpose by Drake Batherson at 19:55. Batherson broke in alone on Campbell, the puck bouncing in off the ahead’s leg after a Campbell poke test. However replays confirmed Batherson was a hair offside, proving Keefe proper.

Campbell was not busy, however he was sharp when it was required. One of the best save of the interval got here when he denied Tim Stuetzle on a breakaway.

A few gamers who hadn’t made a lot of a dent in Toronto’s first two video games of the season, forwards Wayne Simmonds and Alex Kerfoot, scored within the first interval to place the Leafs up 2-0 heading into the intermission.


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Simmonds scored at 2:12, tapping a move from Rasmus Sandin by way of the legs of Forsberg.

At 8:06, Kerfoot obtained his first of the season after William Nylander’s diligence in developing with the puck behind the Sens web. Nylander gained management and centred to Kerfoot, whose shot eluded Forsberg.

After the morning skate, Kerfoot touched on the Leafs’ unhealthy begins within the opener in opposition to Montreal and the next night time in Ottawa.

“Imposing our will on groups for a full 60 minutes (is essential),” Kerfoot stated.

“(Bettering begins) is a variety of discuss till we do change something about it, however this can be a good alternative for us to come back in in opposition to a staff that performed fairly properly in opposition to us final recreation and get off to a extremely good begin.”

And that’s what occurred, partly due to Kerfoot’s purpose.



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