The Ottawa Senators did not play particularly well on Wednesday night, but overcame a sensational four-goal debut from Auston Matthews to win 5-4 in overtime. It was only the first game, but like last year the Senators seem able to score quite easily and continue to struggle to keep the opposite from scoring.
Ottawa is expected to go with the same lineup again tonight, which means that local prankster Mark Borowiecki keeps his place on an ice hockey team over ice hockey player Thomas Chabot. For the Canadiens, Carey Price is out sick, so Al Montoya will start in goal. Montoya stopped 30 out of 31 shots in the Canadiens' 4-1 win over Buffalo in their season opener.
Here is how Ottawa will lineup:
Hoffman - Turris - Stone
Smith - Brassard - Ryan
Varone - Pageau - Pyatt
Dzingel - Kelly - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Borowiecki - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- Despite Kyle Turris scoring the tying and winning goal, I thought the top line was not too dangerous against Toronto. That will definitely change as the players are too good, and the Senators will definitely rely heavily on that trio to produce this season.
- Aside from being caught flat footed on the Leafs second goal, Erik Karlsson was pretty good. Three points, eight shots on goal, and was also on the ice for four out of the five Ottawa goals.
- Dion Phaneuf and Cody Ceci on the other hand were a disaster as a pairing with Natural Stat Trick having the pair caved in by every measure, including 9-1 on 5-on-5 scoring chances.
- Frederik Andersen should have done better but that was an incredible solo goal by Derick Brassard.
- It is only one game but at least Guy Boucher has not used Borowiecki at all on the penalty kill. Those kind of situations should be left to the hockey players.
- The Senators failed to sell out their home opener against a Toronto team filled with hype. Is that going to be a sign of things to come on week night games or was it a one-off?
- Ceci, Phaneuf and Marc Methot all played around 22-23 minutes, with Karlsson at 27 minutes. Chris Wideman and Borowiecki were around 10 minutes each.
- Will Max Pacioretty get a breakaway tonight?
- Will Jean-Gabriel Pageau score a goal tonight?
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight for last season. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from www.puckon.net.
|Goals||Kyle Turris||2||Brendan Gallagher||2|
|Assists||Erik Karlsson||2||Alex Galchenyuk||1|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||3||Brendan Gallagher||2|
|Shots||Erik Karlsson||8||Artturi Lehkonen||5|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:36||Shea Weber||24:04|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||42.6%||20th||61.5%||5th|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||49.4%||15th||67.7%||1st|