TORONTO (AP) — Alexander Kerfoot broke a tie with 9:14 left, Frederik Andersen made 27 saves and the NHL-leading Toronto Maple Leafs beat the last-place Ottawa Senators 2-1 on Wednesday night.
Auston Matthews added his NHL-leading 14th goal for league-leading Toronto in the second game of three-game series in Toronto. Jake Muzzin had two assists.
“This was a huge win for us bouncing back from a tough loss,” Kerfoot said. “It’s really big in a shortened season like this to stop that negative momentum. You don’t want that creeping into minds or into your game.”
In the opener Monday night, Ottawa overcame a 5-1 deficit in a 6-5 overtime victory. The teams will wrap up the series Thursday night.
Brady Tkachuk scored for Ottawa, and Matt Murray made 26 stops.
Not long after a Toronto power play ended, Kerfoot fished a puck out of a scramble in front of Murray following Muzzin’s initial shot for his third goal of the season.
Toronto opened the scoring at 4:32 of the second on Matthews’ 13th goal in his last 12 games. Moments after Joe Thornton had one of his own waved off for the second time in the game — a high stick on this occasion — Matthews took a pass from Justin Holl and rifled a one-timer past Murray.
“There’s nothing you can really do about those (disallowed goals),” Matthews said. “Once we scored there right after the high stick, the boys were saying, ‘The puck don’t lie.’”
Tkachuk tied it with 1:22 left in the second for his fifth of the season and 100th NHL point.
“We were right there,” Tkachuk said. “It’s a good sign we can hang right there with them.”