Bozak Pots Two In Win Over Senators

The Canadian Press | Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

TORONTO -- After struggling on Toronto's first line in his first full NHL season, Tyler Bozak may have found his niche as the Maple Leafs' third-line centre.

Bozak scored twice in the third period as the Maple Leafs opened their preseason campaign with a 4-2 win over the Ottawa Senators on Monday.

Bozak had 15 goals and 17 assists in his first full year with the club which raised questions about where he could fit into the team.

``Your confidence gets down pretty low when things aren't going well and I haven't really dealt with a lot of that through my career on my way up,'' said Bozak. ``I'm feeling a lot better right now and this year. Hopefully we can just build off tonight.''

Colby Armstrong opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs with a power-play goal in the first with Bozak drawing an assist. Carl Gunnarsson had the Leafs' second goal on another power play in the second.

Bozak played with Armstrong and Nazem Kadri on the wings, and the combination could form Toronto's third line when the season gets underway next month.

``He's around 10 pounds heavier and is much stronger,'' Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said of Bozak. ``He looks a little bit more mature so that's helped and I think every team would love to have three lines that can score.''

Jared Cowen scored both of Ottawa's goals, one in the second and the other in the third as number of regulars were absent from both clubs in their first exhibition game of the season.

After Ottawa picked up two quick hooking penalties early in the first, Leafs captain Dion Phaneuf lit up a relatively quiet 18,556 fans at the Air Canada Centre with a hit on Ottawa's Tim Conboy in the Ottawa zone. That drew the attention of Cowen, who jumped in for a fight with Phaneuf.

``I think the team was pretty jumpy and nervous,'' Cowen said. ``For me myself, I was kind of glad I got in a fight there - it kind of gets you settled down and gets some nerves out. I thought I did OK.''

Phaneuf got an elbowing penalty for the initial hit while Cowen got the instigator minor and a 10-minute misconduct in addition to fighting majors for both players.

``It seems whenever you make a hit, guys come after you,'' Phaneuf said. ``It's part of the game. There's nothing wrong with that.''

Buoyed by their captain's physical play, the Maple Leafs took the lead at 5:30 of the first period. After taking a cross-ice pass from Bozak, Jake Gardiner fired in a hard pass to Armstrong, who banged the puck past Ottawa goaltender Alex Auld from close range.

``By myself, I think I've had a pretty good camp and I'm just trying to do what I can do and let the rest take care of itself,'' said Gardiner who played with the Leafs in last week's rookie tournament in Oshawa and paired with John-Michael Liles on the Leafs' blue-line Monday night.

Toronto had chances throughout the first to add to their lead. Just past the 11-minute mark, Auld was caught well out of his net when he tried to play the puck. But Toronto couldn't capitalize and eventually the play was stopped when the net was knocked off.

The Leafs came out with the early chances in the second but some hard work by Nikita Filatov led to Ottawa's equalizer at 7:25.

Filatov got the play started with some strong forechecking to pick up the puck in the Toronto zone. After circling behind Jonas Gustavsson in the Toronto goal, Filatov found a wide open Cowen down the middle of the ice and Cowen's shot beat Gustavsson to the glove side.

Auld and Gustavsson were both replaced a few minutes later by Robin Lehner and Ben Scrivens respectively.

Lehner had only been in for a few minutes before Toronto got the puck past him. Just past the halfway mark of the second, Gunnarsson fired the puck past Lehner from the right point on a power play.

Bozak added Toronto's lead just over five minutes into the third period. Bozak skated onto Matt Lashoff's clearance off the left boards before going in alone and beating Lehner with a low shot.

``We're going to have a good top three lines here that all can score. It doesn't really matter what line you are on for all three of those because all three can score,'' Bozak said.

Scrivens, meanwhile, wasn't tested too much but did allow one goal on the 14 shots he faced on a soft shot by Cowen that appeared to take a deflection off Gardiner in front.

Bozak's second came off a rebound in close on Lehner. Phaneuf took a shot from the left side and Bozak put the rebound through Lehner's legs at 13:27 of the third.

Notes: Before the game, the Leafs paid tribute to former players Wade Belak, Alexander Karpovtsev and Igor Korolev. All three players passed away during the summer. Those in attendance stood for a moment before a video tribute was played for the three players.

Scoring Summary
1st Period
05:30TOR PPG - Colby Armstrong (1) Snap shot - ASST: Jake Gardiner (1), Tyler Bozak (1) 1 - 0 TOR
2nd Period
07:25OTT Jared Cowen (1) Snap shot - ASST: Nikita Filatov (1) 1 - 1 Tie
11:03TOR PPG - Carl Gunnarsson (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Mikhail Grabovski (1), Jake Gardiner (2) 2 - 1 TOR
3rd Period
05:05TOR Tyler Bozak (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Matt Lashoff (1) 3 - 1 TOR
10:55OTT Jared Cowen (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Peter Regin (1), Nikita Filatov (2) 3 - 2 TOR
13:27TOR Tyler Bozak (2) Snap shot - ASST: Dion Phaneuf (1), Colby Armstrong (1) 4 - 2 TOR
Penalty Summary
1st Period
00:45OTT Mika Zibanejad  Hooking  - 2 min against  Nazem Kadri
03:48OTT Mark Stone  Hooking  - 2 min against  Keith Aulie
05:06TOR Dion Phaneuf  Fighting (maj)  - 5 min against  Jared Cowen
05:06OTT Jared Cowen  Fighting (maj)  - 5 min against  Dion Phaneuf
05:06TOR Dion Phaneuf  Elbowing  - 2 min against  Jared Cowen
05:06OTT Jared Cowen  Instigator  - 2 min against  Dion Phaneuf
05:06OTT Jared Cowen  Misconduct (10 min)  - 10 min against  Dion Phaneuf
19:03TOR John-Michael Liles  Holding  - 2 min against  Peter Regin
2nd Period
04:55OTT Nikita Filatov  Hooking  - 2 min against  Jake Gardiner
09:18OTT Filip Kuba  Tripping  - 2 min against  Nikolay Kulemin
13:13TOR Jay Rosehill  Charging  - 2 min against  David Rundblad
18:07TOR Matt Frattin  Slashing  - 2 min against  Jared Cowen
3rd Period
08:50TOR Joe Colborne  Roughing  - 2 min against  Zack Smith
08:50OTT Zack Smith  Roughing  - 2 min against  Joe Colborne
15:25OTT Colin Greening  Slashing  - 2 min against  Mikhail Grabovski
15:35OTT Jared Cowen  Delaying Game-Puck over glass  - 2 min
16:15TOR Tyler Bozak  Tripping  - 2 min against  Filip Kuba
shots by period
Team Stats
Power Plays0/42/6
Faceoff Wins2424
Blocked Shots911
Penalty Minutes3117
2J. CowenD20231915:11
7D. RundbladD00-12020:46
9M. MichalekL0012017:56
13P. ReginC0103017:24
14C. GreeningC0003214:51
15Z. SmithC0010217:42
16B. ButlerR00-21015:26
17F. KubaD0000224:20
21N. FilatovL0202216:07
25C. NeilR0000012:23
28Z. KonopkaC0000010:21
38T. ConboyD00-11018:32
46P. WierciochD00-21013:04
49F. LessardR000006:16
60M. StoneR0000211:11
65E. KarlssonD0024028:16
68M. HoffmanL0001010:17
93M. ZibanejadC0003216:45
35A. Auld1415.93328:43
40R. Lehner1215.80031:02
3D. PhaneufD0102723:36
9C. ArmstrongR1112017:55
11P. DupuisC0001011:27
16C. MacArthurL00-13015:36
24J. LilesD00-11220:37
29M. LashoffD0112019:48
32J. ColborneC00-21214:49
36C. GunnarssonD1015021:33
38J. RosehillL001129:38
39M. FrattinR00-11213:43
41N. KuleminL0001017:03
42T. BozakC2123216:14
43N. KadriC0011012:23
46J. CrabbR00-10011:45
51J. GardinerD02-14016:06
59K. AulieD0002018:30
68K. RyanR0000011:03
84M. GrabovskiC0100018:20
30B. Scrivens1314.92931:11
50J. Gustavsson1112.91728:43