Mika Zibanejad made sure his first game at Scotiabank Place had a happy ending, scoring at 3:17 of overtime to lift the Ottawa Senators to a 2-1 win over the Boston Bruins. Although the game was a rather dull affair, the Senators certainly deserved the victory, outshooting the Bruins 36-26 on the night.
While the Senators were the better team tonight, they were by no means fluid. They had several rushes with potential that seemed to fall apart at the last minute and rarely led to a dangerous scoring chance. On the other hand, the club was solid defensively, with Craig Anderson and Alex Auld not having to make too many difficult saves.
Still, while it is only pre-season, a win is better than a loss. The Senators return to action on Friday night when they host the Montreal Canadiens.
Sens Hero: Sergei Gonchar
Gonchar was solid tonight, He played over 27 minutes, had four shots, was very dependable defensively and was very confident. With Erik Karlsson playing 28 minutes on Monday night, it looks like a potential Gonchar/Karlsson pairing could eat up a lot of minutes.
Sens Hero: Stephane Da Costa
While Da Costa didn't end up with any points on the night, he was the most dangerous forward on the ice for Ottawa. He ended up with a game high six shots and showed great vision on the ice, including one play where he thread the needle to spring Erik Condra.
More after the jump.
Sens Hero: Mika Zibanejad
While Zibanejad didn't have a great game, he turned it on a bit in the third period and scored the overtime winner. He also ended up with five shots on the night. Things weren't working for him most of the night, but the effort was always there, and he was rewarded in the end. His shot for the winning goal was an absolute cannon that Tuukka Rask got a piece of, but couldn't stop.
Sens Hero: Brian Lee
Lee had an excellent night, finishing with a goal and an assist and a +2 rating. His goal was very well taken, a shot from the left side with Peter Regin providing a screen. He then fed Zibanejad with a lovely pass for his one timer on the winning goal in over time.
Honourable Mentions: Nikita Filatov, David Rundblad and Jared Cowen
On paper, Filatov might not seem like he had an impact, finishing with only 1 shot in 15:41 of ice time. But he was full of energy and was skating hard and made a few nice plays with the stick (though they didn't lead to anything).
Rundblad struggled to create much on the power play but he was much better tonight in his own end, with no glaring giveaways. Cowen had five hits and played 22:24. Unfortunately, he also took two penalties, but he can be forgiven for the second one -- it was a terrible call by the ref.
On a final note, if Peter Regin wants to win the second line centre spot, he's going to have to do much better in face-offs. Regin won only 4 of his 18 attempts tonight, though Mika Zibanejad wasn't much better in that department, winning 4 out of 12. Stephane Da Costa won 7 out of 15.
Highlights: Coming soon.