Thursday night didn’t go exactly how the Ottawa Senators had planned. They ended up losing 4-1 to the Buffalo Sabres (with two empty-net goals), although they probably deserved a better fate. Now they head to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs where they will try to get their first win of the season.
It’s not as if people are panicking after just one loss, but you certainly don’t want to see the Senators begin the season on any sort of losing streak, so a win tonight would let fans exhale. After all, they began last season with a paltry 4-15-1 record and they were out of the playoff race right away, so a good start is paramount. The Maple Leafs have their own high expectations this season, but the regular season almost doesn’t matter for them unless they end up somehow missing the playoffs.
It’ll be a fun game tonight with the first of four Battles of Ontario. The lines are expected to be the same for the Senators tonight:
Friday practice lines in Toronto. They remain unchanged.— TSN 1200 (@TSN1200) October 14, 2022
Tkachuk Stützle Batherson
DeBrincat Norris Giroux
Motte Pinto Joseph
Kelly Kastelic Watson
Brassard Gambrell xxxx
- I wasn’t sure if DJ Smith wanted to shake things up after losing on Thursday, but I don’t mind him keeping things the same. They didn’t play that poorly, they mainly didn’t look as good because they could not finish their Grade A chances. That won’t happen every game, and I’m expecting more chemistry tonight and moving forward.
- Jake Sanderson was one of Ottawa’s better players on Thursday, let’s see how he does on the big stage in Toronto against a tough opponent.
- Ottawa was 1-2-1 vs. Toronto last season and is just 5-8-3 against them in their last 16 games overall. Hopefully this season is the beginning of bucking that trend.
- It looked like Matt Murray was going to start tonight, and first of all, I need to share this insane stat about former Senators goalies:
HOW IS THIS EVEN POSSIBLE?!?!— Locked On Senators (@SensCentral) October 14, 2022
A 0.936 save percentage on over 1400 shots!!!!! pic.twitter.com/IV5u6L5AWJ
- However, Murray was injured during the morning skate (what else is new?), and now it appears that Ilya Samsonov might be starting. I feel bad for Murray, but at the same time, we’ve come to expect this from him. He plays well, has a bad game, gets injured, and then starts the cycle all over again. We can't say we didn’t warn Leafs fans. What’s hilarious about the situation is that the Leafs have nobody to call up due to AHL injuries and maxed-out contract spots:
Leafs are at 50 contract slots. The only other goalies under NHL deals are Källgren & Hildeby. Källgren got hurt last night & Hildeby is in Sweden. Ferguson & Peteuzzelli have played pro games so can’t be signed to ATOs.— Mike Stephens (@mikeystephens81) October 15, 2022
If Murray is hurt, the backup is uncertain tonight.
How about a local Zamboni driver as a backup?
- I’d like to see a lot more out of some of Ottawa’s top forwards. They can be much more lethal than they showed, and I expect this game to be very open.
|Goals||Brady Tkachuk/Shane Pinto||6||Travis Konecny||4|
|Assists||Brady Tkachuk||9||Kevin Hayes||9|
|Points||Brady Tkachuk||15||Travis Konecny||11|
|Shots||Alex DeBrincat||47||Travis Konecny||33|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||25:37||Tony DeAngelo||24:32|
|Penalty Kill %||78.1||18th||79.4||14th|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||51.76||10th||38.22||32nd|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||52.23||12th||37.35||31st|
Go Sens Go!