LONDON,ON - SEPTEMBER 12: Jim O'Brien #42 of the Ottawa Senators skates away from a check in a game against the Chicago Black Hawks during the NHL Rookie Tournament on September 12,2010 at the John Labatt Centre in London Ontario Canada. The Senators defeated the Hawks 7-3. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The Ottawa Senators might not have brought it for the first and second, but they brought more than enough in the third period of their London rookie tournament game, over the Chicago Blackhawks. Down 3-1 heading into the third, Ottawa scored six unanswered goals in the final frame to come away with their first win in the camp.
For various reasons, I didn't get to follow the whole game, but by the sound of things, Chicago carried the play for most of the first and second, but Senators goaltender Brandon Foote kept the Sens in it until the third, when Adam Wallace scored to kick-start Ottawa's offence. Eric Gryba, Mike Hoffman, David Dziurzynski, Patrick Wiercioch, and Kaspars Daugavins also scored in the third period, and Jim O'Brien had the Senators' only first-period tally to round out the scoring. O'Brien and Hoffman each had assists, and Bobby Butler had two assists to give him four points (2G, 2A) in two games so far.
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Seems like old news now, but Hoffman and Butler led the way offensively once again for Ottawa, and definitely look like a solid forward pairing. Surprising, at least to me, is the scoring touch of defenceman Gryba seems to have, spotting an offensive opening and jumping into it for the second game in a row, and he converted both of them. I had expected him to be a defensive force, but the offensive production is a very nice surprise.
Another nice surprise tonight was O'Brien, who I barely noticed last game but seemed to have a much stronger outing tonight. And Foote, despite allowing three goals, had a big part in keeping the Senators close enough before they were able to mount their offensive.
A moment is due to Dziurzynski, who got to boot in the first game just two minutes in for his hit-from-behind on Pens defender Alex Grant. It was the first we were really able to see of him, and his physical line with Corey Cowick and Jakub Culek looked like a effective force tonight--emphasis on force. Dzuirzynski's game seems to be a power-forward type, and he should do well with that style in Binghamton.
No games for any of the teams on Monday, but the main event on Tuesday: The Senators rookies take on the Maple Leafs Tuesday night at 7 p.m.