TORONTO – Drake Batherson scored two goals in leading the Ottawa Senators to a 4-2 come-from-behind win over the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Battle of Ontario Wednesday night.
Parker Kelly and Brady Tkachuk added the others for Ottawa (13-17-0), which improved to 2-1-0 against the Maple Leafs this season.
Joonas Korpisalo stopped 34 shots.
The Senators improved to 2-2-0, and are currently on a two-game winning streak under interim head coach Jacques Martin. He took over at the helm on Dec. 18 following the firing of D.J. Smith.
Matthew Knies and Tyler Bertuzzi scored for Toronto (17-9-6), which fell to 5-3-3 this month.
Martin Jones made 27 saves.
Knies opened the scoring 5:41 into the first period. He tipped in a low point shot from Auston Matthews.
Bertuzzi doubled down just 23 seconds later, tipping in a cross-ice pass from Morgan Rielly.
The Senators shifted the momentum in the second period, outshooting the Leafs 14-8. Toronto had outshot Ottawa 12-6 in the opening frame.
Kelly cut into the Leafs’ lead 10:17 into the second with a short-handed marker. After a Josh Norris high-sticking penalty 41 seconds earlier gave Toronto the power play, Kelly blasted home a one-timer from Claude Giroux on a 2-on-1 break.
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Giroux almost added to the short-handed scoring but fumbled his opportunity to score on a breakaway about a minute later.
Ottawa eventually got it back, though. Batherson fired in a rebound off a Tim Stutzle miss with 5:35 left in the middle frame to knot the contest.
Batherson netted his second of the night 3:44 into the third period to put the Senators ahead. The right-winger beat Jones from behind the goal line with a shot that bounced off the netminder’s left shoulder and dropped into the net as he tried to catch it.
Bertuzzi had a prime opportunity to tie the game eight minutes into the frame. Tavares flicked the puck past Korpisalo, who was off to the side of the net, and the puck landed about a couple of centimetres in front of the goal line.
However, Bertuzzi was tied up with a defender and failed to put the puck into the gaping net.
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Tkachuk scored an empty-netter with 2:27 remaining, taking the air out of Scotiabank Arena.
Matthews hasn’t had much trouble finding the back of the net in 2023-24. The 26-year-old’s two-goal game against Columbus last Saturday gave him a league-leading 28 goals in 30 games.
He became the first player to score 27-plus goals in his first 30 games of a season since Jaromir Jagr (30 goals) in 1996-97. Matthews is also the second Toronto player in the modern era (since 1943-44) to do so alongside Frank Mahovlich in 1960-61 (27 goals in 30 games).
Canadian singer Justin Bieber and wife, Hailey, were in attendance, receiving a roaring ovation from the crowd. Canadian actor Will Arnett and Pan American Games skateboarding gold medallist Fay De Fazio Ebert of Toronto were also presented on the jumbotron to ovations.
The Leafs are off to Columbus for a Friday night game against the Blue Jackets.
The Senators will be home to the New Jersey Devils on Friday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 27, 2023.
© 2023 The Canadian Press