Jakob Chychrun scores twice, Senators beat Maple Leafs in overtime
Ottawa Senators defenceman Jakob Chychrun (6) celebrates his game winning goal alongside left wing Angus Crookshank (59) during overtime in preseason NHL hockey against the Toronto Maple Leafs in Toronto on Monday, September 25, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press
Published Monday, September 25, 2023 11:45PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, September 25, 2023 11:45PM EDT
Jakob Chychrun is feeling a lot more comfortable after a whirlwind end to last season.
That's great news for both the defenceman — and a franchise looking to finally break through in the Eastern Conference.
Chychrun scored is second goal of the night at 3:48 of overtime Monday as the Ottawa Senators defeated the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-3 pre-season action.
The 25-year-old was acquired just ahead of last season's trade deadline from the Arizona Coyotes.
There wasn't much time to get to know his new teammates, but a summer to let things settle has helped the process.
"Another fresh start with this group," Chychrun said. "Last season was kind of hectic when everything happened. It is nice to have a full training camp and pre-season."
Dominik Kubalik and Roby Jarventie, with a goal and an assist each, also scored for the Senators.
Mads Sogaard made 37 saves for Ottawa, which unveiled new owner Michael Andlauer last week.
"All you can ask for is a great ownership group that wants to invest in the guys and give us every opportunity to be successful," Chychrun said. "We're really excited."
Rookie forward Easton Cowan, with a goal and an assist, Mitch Marner and Joseph Blandisi replied for Toronto.
Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said the 18-year-old Cowan continued to build on what he's shown the last few weeks at Toronto's rookie tournament and main training camp.
"Put an exclamation point on it," said Keefe, who had the Mount Brydges, Ont., product out as the extra attacker with Toronto down a goal late. "I'm trying to talk myself out of playing him, to be honest, because I've got (Auston) Matthews and I've got (David) Kampf and I've got (Pontus) Holmberg — all these guys that are older guys that are here (and) they need to get their minutes — but it was hard not to.
"Every time he got out there he was making something happen. I got sick of talking myself out of it and just started playing him or in the third. He was great."
Joseph Woll played the first half of the game for Toronto, stopping 19-of-22 shots before giving way to Martin Jones. The veteran netminder finished with 16 saves.
Leafs winger Tyler Bertuzzi, who signed a one-year deal in free agency this summer, got his first shot on Toronto's top line with Matthews and Marner.
Toronto enforcer Ryan Reaves and defenceman John Klingberg were the other notable off-season additions suiting up in blue and white for the first time.
The Senators, meanwhile, got their first look at a pair of summer acquisitions up front in Kubalik and Vladimir Tarasenko.
Down 3-2 late in the third period, Toronto scored in the dying seconds of regulation when Marner kicked the puck up to his stick from in close on a power play with Jones on the bench for an extra attacker.
Chychrun then ended a back-and-forth extra period off a Ridly Greig rebound on a 2-on-1.
"I was pretty tired at the end of the shift," Chychrun said. "Just tried to beat Marner up the ice and (Greig) made a really nice read, nice play off the far pad.
"Ended up right on my tape."
Ottawa, which defeated the Leafs 3-2 in the nation's capital in Sunday's exhibition opener that saw both teams dress almost entirely different lineups, got on the board 76 seconds into the first when Jarventie took advantage of a turnover.
Cowan was stopped on a penalty shot — his first effort on goal as a professional — by Sogaard.
"Bit of nerves, the building's going crazy," said the No. 28 pick at June's draft. "Just missed my spot and the goalie made a good save."
Ottawa went up 2-0 when Kubalik, who was acquired from the Detroit Red Wings in the Alex DeBrincat trade, tipped home a point shot, but Cowan found the range on a power play to make it 2-1.
Chychrun responded on an Ottawa man advantage to restore the visitors' two-goal advantage before Blandisi got that one right back 17 seconds later.
Matthews, Marner and Bertuzzi started to buzz around the offensive zone in the second, but Sogaard, who's behind Joonas Korpisalo and Anton Forsberg on Ottawa's depth chart, was there to deny a couple of decent chances.
Marner eventually tied it late, but Sogaard kept his nerve in the extra period before Chychrun won it.
"A big mindset for me in the summer was just you never know what can happen," said the 22-year-old netminder. "If someone comes up to me and tells me that I had to play 30 games in the NHL this year, you got to be prepared for it. And if not, then you also got to be prepared to stay healthy and play well wherever you are.
"It's just about working as hard as I can."
A polarizing debate among their fans, the Leafs' goal song "You Make My Dreams" by Hall & Oates remained on the playlist for Toronto's first home game of the pre-season.
Tarasenko is taking part in his first NHL camp as a member of a team other than the St. Louis Blues. The 16th pick at the 2010 draft played 11 seasons in Missouri before getting traded to the New York Rangers in February. "Everybody's been very nice and friendly," the 31-year-old told reporters in Ottawa over the weekend. "It's been very smooth. My teammates help me a lot."
Leafs: Host the Buffalo Sabres in St. Thomas, Ont., on Wednesday.
Senators: Visit the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday.