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Sens win second in a row in the battle of the exes

Matthews and the Leafs surrender another loss to the young and hungry Sens

NHL: SEP 18 Preseason - Maple Leafs at Senators Photo by Richard A. Whittaker/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Ottawa Senators played their second pre-season game after opening up with a win last night against the Leafs. Today’s game featured another set of players including ex-Leafs players Tyler Ennis, Connor Brown and Ron Hainsey. On the other end, we got to see a first look at how Cody Ceci and Ben Harpur will fit in the blue and white; perfectly it seems.

Just like last night; the Sens were the first to strike 8 minutes into the game. A nice pinch and pass by Hainsey landed to Max Veronneau who had a beautiful shot straight to the net. Just before the period ended, Borowiecki snaps one that we all thought went straight in but it was later changed to Connor Brown who appears to have touched it. The Sens were looking fun and speedy and Craig Anderson was definitely in promising form.

There is no denying Auston Matthews loves playing against the Sens; it only took him 4 mins into the second to snap a beauty past Anderson but the Sens quickly got back their 2-goal lead with a Tyler Ennis snapshot off a loose puck; he beat Michael Hutchinson nice and clean.

After playing some fantastic hockey for 40 minutes (20 saves on 21 shots), Anderson was replaced with Filip Gustavsson. Matthews cut the lead to 3-2 with a fancy goal and the Leafs seemed to have taken a bit over the game at that point. The Sens held their own but at times looked overwhelmed which is to be expected from this young group. The Sens scored an empty netter with 2:21 left and managed to hold on to the win after Nick Shore scored with 30 seconds left to make it 4-3. Gustavsson had a remarkable period making 17 saves on 18 shots.

Highlights:

Game Thoughts:

  • There was always this concern that Cody Ceci and Ben Harpur would flourish with the Leafs; that concern is slowly fading. It’s still pre-season and both players are getting adjusted to their new team but tonight did not look promising for either player.
  • The Senators had two power play chances and managed to capitalize on one but the more important thing was the execution on both chances. There was a lot of movement from all the players and a sense of unpredictability that gave them a lot of chances. They also killed their very dangerous penalty kills making composed plays and getting themselves out of tight situations.
  • While Ceci and Harpur were an eye sore for most of the game; the former Leafs players made a great first impression. Between Brown, Hainsey and Ennis; they totaled 4 points. While they may not drastically change the outcome of the season; having solid vets who can provide mentorship and a buffer to the young players will surely be productive for their development and entertaining for the fans.
  • Brady Tkachuk hasn’t missed a beat from last season; he still has some development ahead of him but his skill set of big presence around the net; being in everyone’s face and everywhere on the ice seems to be consistent if not better from last year.
  • I am still wary about Logan Brown’s health and his defensive play but if he has more string games like tonight, he may have a very good chance at seeing quite a few games up in Ottawa this season.