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Mark Giordano has three-point game in the Toronto Maple Leafs overtime win against the Ottawa Senators


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By Neil Becker

So far, the Toronto Maple Leafs deal in acquiring veteran defenceman Mark Giordano has really paid off.

Back on March 20th, a day before the NHL Trading Deadline, Leafs GM Kyle Dubas made a statement to Leafs fans that he’s all in this year when he traded the team’s second-round picks for 2022 and 2023 along with their 2024 third-round selection to the Seattle Kraken for forward Colin Blackwell and defenceman Mark Giordano.


Giordano has had a solid career which has included such achievements as winning the 2019 Norris Trophy and in 2020 winning the Mark Messier Leadership Award.


When Giordano was traded to Toronto some Leafs fans might have been a little lukewarm given that he’s 38 years old. However, so far, he’s been a steady influence on the young defenceman and has played strong defensively.


On Saturday night, playing on Hockey Night In Canada, Giordano had his best offensive game as he produced two assists and scored the eventual overtime winner at Canadian Tire Centre in a momentum-swinging 5-4 Leafs win against the Ottawa Senators.


Other Leafs who had big games were forwards Mitch Marner who scored two goals and Michael Bunting who scored a goal and had a two-point game while matching Giordano with an impressive +3 on the night.


This has been truly a historic season for the Leafs as they have tied their previous franchise high of 49 wins which they accomplished during the 2017/18 season. Now they also have 104 points, which is just one fewer than their franchise-high which they set in that same season. 


The Senators, who are full of young talented players made their mark early on Saturday when forward Tim Stutzle extended his scoring streak to eight games as he scored his 19th goal at 14:14 of the first after finishing off a 2 on 0 break with captain  Brady Tkachuk.


Toronto, who got off to a sluggish start surrendered a little over a minute later, another Senators goal as defenceman Michael Del Zotto scored his 3rd of the year for a two-goal lead.


Less than three minutes into the second, an unexpected source gave the Leafs a huge lift when fourth-line forward Kyle Clifford scored his first of the season when standing in front of the Ottawa net, he redirected a point shot from Justin Holl for a goal.


The Senators would regain that two-goal lead when at the 10:03 mark, Dylan Gambrell deflected a shot from Austin Watson past Leafs goalie Erik Kallgren to give them what would be a temporary 3-1 lead.

Giordano, who assisted on the Leafs opening goal was also involved in the second when he threw a pass to Bunting at the net, who at 11:21 into the second period scored his 23rd. goal to make it a one-goal game.


Before the second period was over, Toronto managed to complete the comeback as Marner with only 1:27 left in the period scored his 32nd goal to make it after 40 minutes of regulation a brand-new game.

Stutzle who is just getting better and better for Ottawa capitalized on a giveaway from Leafs defenceman Ilya Lyubushkin and ended up at 6:10 into the third scoring his second of the game and 20th of the season to give the Senators a 4-3 lead.


However, that lead wouldn’t last as Marner just past the 10-minute mark of the third scored his second of the game and 33rd of the year as it stayed a tie game after regulation.


Both teams had some great overtime chances. Late in the overtime controversy arose after Stutzle was denied on a breakaway and as the whistle was being blown, Senators Connor Brown poked the puck into the net.


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