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Senators Fall to Bruins 2-1

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Folks, the score doesn't tell the story. Ottawa had 36 shots to Boston's 20, but were unfortunate enough to be playing against Vezina winner Tim Thomas, who had an outstanding game. That's not to say that Leclaire didn't play great - he did. The guy made many great saves, and the ones that beat him would've slipped by any goalie. Drew Fata and Brad Marchand scored for Boston, while Ryan Shannon notched the only goal for the Senators on a powerplay in the first.

Speaking of Shannon, if he continues to play like he did tonight, he's going to have a heck of a season. He was great manning the point on the powerplay, and hustled all over the ice. There was even a time when Mike Fisher was backchecking, and Shannon gave Fisher a push to help him skate faster (Pierre McGuire was thrilled by that move). Peter Regin also had a solid game, including one segment where he beat Zdeno Chara in two back-to-back puck battles. The commentators couldn't believe it.

Erik Karlsson made a couple of errors, which is expected, but he also made a few of the best passes I've seen anyone on the Senators make in years. In particular, he did a bank pass from the Senators own zone off the boards and right onto Chris Neil's stick at the Bruins' blue line that you can't appreciate unless you see it. Neil also dropped the gloves with Milan Lucic in a doozy of a tilt, while Matt Carkner fought Shawn Thornton.

Most importantly, get excited for the season. The Ottawa Senators are not the team that hit the ice in 2008-09: they are faster, harder hitting, and as the TSN panel pointed out numerous times, they have "swagger." Even though they lost, the Senators put on a fine display of hockey, and one that has to make a person eager for the season.