Leafs lose Woll, hold off Senators for 4-3 win

OTTAWA – Joseph Woll suffered a setback after playing a major role in Toronto’s victory Thursday night.

Woll made 29 saves in a stellar performance as the Maple Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3. However, Woll exited midway through the third period with an injury after making a save on Rourke Chartier and was in obvious pain, requiring assistance to leave the ice.

Prior to that, he made two huge saves on Vladimir Tarasenko and stopped Mathieu Joseph and Brady Tkachuk on a breakaway, among other key saves.

“It’s unfortunate, right,” said Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe. “He’s been playing so well. He was building such great momentum here on his season and his career. It’s a setback here now.

“He’s going to miss some time, for sure. We’ll determine the extent of it once we get home. Obviously, he’s the big reason why we get two points here tonight.”

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Toronto led 3-2 at the time of Woll’s exit, but William Nylander provided some breathing room with his 13th of the season.

Mitch Marner, David Kampf and Calle Jarnkrok also scored for Toronto (13-6-4), while Martin Jones stopped 9-of-10 shots in relief.

“That team does a really good job of just putting pressure on you in your own zone,” said Marner. “I think we did a pretty good job of … getting out of our zone pretty quickly. When we needed to defend, we did a good job and obviously our goalies made a couple of massive saves for us.”

Josh Norris, Jacob Bernard-Docker and Claude Giroux scored for Ottawa (10-11-0), which got 18 saves from Anton Forsberg.

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The Senators made it a one-goal game when Giroux scored on a one-timer with 1:53 remaining. But Ottawa was unable to complete the comeback despite pulling Forsberg and having a power play for the final 50.3 seconds.

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“We did a lot of good things,” said Giroux. “Definitely frustrating right now. If we play like that every night we’re going to win more than we lose.

“As frustrating as it is right now, we played a pretty solid game and we’re trying to build something here so we’ve just got to keep pushing and try not to get too down here. Let’s keep pushing and go one game at a time.”

Jakob Chychrun fed Norris a perfect stretch pass to break in alone and beat Woll with 26 seconds remaining in the period.

Marner tied the game 1:42 into the second on a near-identical play to the Senators’ opening goal.

Morgan Rielly sprung Marner open with a long pass and Marner wristed a shot past Forsberg stick side.

Kampf, with his first goal since Nov. 11, put the Leafs ahead after poking it past Forsberg from in close with 2:20 left in the middle frame.

“If you look at the whole picture, you know, we shot ourselves in the foot with a bad turnover, two bad turnovers and the second one was in the net,” said Ottawa coach D.J. Smith. “They’re going to get chances; they’re a good team and they’ve got good players.

“I thought we did a lot of really good things … unfortunately we didn’t get the result.”

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Jarnkrok gave Toronto a 3-1 edge 3:35 into the third period with a wrist shot. It was his sixth of the season and capped a run of three unanswered goals by the Leafs.

But under two minutes later, Bernard-Docker made it a one-score game with his first career NHL goal on a point shot.

“It was really cool,” said Bernard-Docker. “I probably celebrated like I’ve never scored one in my life, but it’s the first one so I figured I may as well, you know, give it a little celebration.”

After the game, Smith said defenceman Thomas Chabot, who missed his second straight game after suffering an injury last Saturday against Seattle, would be placed on long-term injured reserve and would likely miss the next four weeks with a lower-body injury.


Toronto entered Thursday’s game having picked up points in all but one game since its last meeting against Ottawa on Nov. 8.


Ottawa’s Mark Kastelic practised for the first time since his injury Dec. 2. … Leafs goaltender Ilya Samsonov (illness) did not dress for the game.


Ottawa: Takes on the Detroit Red Wings Saturday night.

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Toronto: Hosts the Nashville Predators Saturday night.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 7, 2023.

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