Norris nets OT winner for Senators over Maple Leafs

OTTAWA – Josh Norris scored nine seconds into overtime as the Ottawa Senators concluded their pandemic-shortened season with a 4-3 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night.

Parker Kelly scored in his NHL debut for Ottawa (23-28-5), while Connor Brown, with his league-leading fifth short-handed goal of 2021, and Nikita Zaitsev provided the rest of the offence. Filip Gustavsson stopped 30 shots, while Zaitsev added an assist for a two-point performance.

Auston Matthews replied with his NHL-best 41st goal of the season for Toronto (35-13-7), while Jake Muzzin, with a goal and an assist, and John Tavares also scored. Frederik Andersen made 24 saves in his return to the lineup following an eight-week injury absence for the North Division’s No. 1 seed.

Toronto star Mitch Marner turned the puck over off the faceoff to start overtime to Brady Tkachuk, who in turn fed Norris to bag his 17th.

The Leafs close out their regular-season schedule Friday in Winnipeg against the Jets before opening the playoffs against the Montreal Canadiens next week _ the first post-season meeting between the Original Six rivals since 1979.

Andersen played in the NHL for the first time since March 19 because of an injury “around” one of his knees that cost him 23 games. The 31-year-old made two AHL appearances as part of a conditioning stint to get back up to speed.

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