Created: 10/05/2013 11:05 PM WHEC.com
(AP) TORONTO - Mason Raymond and Tyler Bozak scored shootout goals to give Toronto a 5-4 victory over the Ottawa Senators in the Maple Leafs’ home opener Saturday night.
Toronto goalie Jonathan Bernier, outstanding in relief of James Reimer, stopped Milan Michalek _ whose shot hit the crossbar and bounced out _ and Jason Spezza in the shootout.
Raymond, on a nifty turnaround backhand, and Bozak, through Craig Anderson’s legs, scored to give Toronto a 2-0 edge in the shootout.
The Maple Leafs had a 42-second power play to finish overtime after Dave Bolland was hauled down by Jared Cowen as he charged at the Ottawa goal. But Toronto failed to take advantage.
Raymond, Nazem Kadri, Joffrey Lupul and James van Riemsdyk scored in regulation to help Toronto improve to 3-0 after opening wins in Montreal and Philadelphia.
Kyle Turris, Cory Conacher, Cowen and Spezza scored for Ottawa.
Trailing 4-3 entering a wide-open third period, Toronto tied it after a speeding Phil Kessel found van Riemsdyk at the side of the crease at 2:52. The big winger tucked it in for his second of the season.
The Leafs went 2-for-6 on the power play, while Ottawa was 0-for-1.
Toronto coach Randy Carlyle’s carefully considered goalie rotation strategy went by the boards midway through the second period when Bernier replaced Reimer with the Maple Leafs down 4-2 after giving up two goals in 15 seconds.
Reimer had gotten the nod over Bernier by virtue of his stellar career record against the Senators: 8-1-1 with three shutouts, a 1.69 goals-against average and .949 save percentage. Bernier, who had never faced Ottawa before, looked rock-solid after coming in.
NOTES _ Toronto won four of the five installments of the Battle of Ontario last season, shutting out the Senators twice and outscoring them 18-8. ... The Leafs came into the game with a 44-33-15-3 record in home openers. That record included losses in five previous home openers against Ottawa, although the Toronto Arenas beat the Ottawa Senators 11-4 in the first home game in Toronto franchise history in December 1917.