Game 2 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators vs Toronto Maple Leafs

Will lightning strike twice?

Updated: 6:40pmEST

In their first NHL game in 310 days, the Ottawa Senators (1-0-0) grabbed the entire league’s attention, stunning the vaunted Toronto Maple Leafs (1-1-0) with a 5-3 victory. Now, 24 hours later, the Sens will try to do what was once unthinkable, and rattle off two consecutive wins against their Ontario rivals.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7pmEST, and you can catch this game on CBC, Sportsnet Ontario, and TVA. As always, Dean Brown and Gord Wilson will have the radio call on TSN 1200.

Mike Reilly will play in place of Christian Wolanin, and Colin White will replace Artem Anisimov. Alex Galchenyuk is a healthy scratch for the second straight game.

Smith also plans to play his starting goaltender decisions close to the chest this season, but Matt Murray will start again, after a lighter workload last night.

Expect the lineup to look something like this:

Tkachuk - Norris - Batherson
Stützle - Stepan - Dadonov
Paul - Tierney - C. Brown
Paquette - White - Watson

Chabot - Gudbranson
Reilly - Zaitsev
Coburn - J. Brown

Murray (starter)

Game Notes:

  • In his NHL debut, Tim Stützle played 11:49, with three shots on goal, including a high-danger chance. Interestingly, Stützle had no offensive zone starts, and was mainly matched up against Nylander, Tavares, and Mikheyev. He showed flashes of poise beyond his years. The breakout is coming any day now:/
  • One of Stützle’s linemates also had a phenomenal game. In his Senators debut, Derek Stepan finished the night with a 70.37% Corsi rating at 5on5. Only Brady Tkachuk was better at 75.00%(!). Stepan also went 10-4 on the faceoff dot, and if he keeps performing like this, that trade is going to be smelling like roses.
  • Despite taking five minor penalties, the Sens held the Leafs to just 23 shots on goal. While I would be surprised if they can do so again tonight, that’s the way you have to beat this team.
  • Expect some lineup changes for the Leafs, tonight. Jack Campbell will start in goal, and James Mirtle of the The Athletic speculates that Sheldon Keefe may try to inject some energy into his lineup using a player like Nick Robertson.
  • Should the Sens win again, tonight, it will be the first time they’ve notched consecutive wins over the Leafs since March 17th and 31st of 2019. Until last night, the Leafs had won three straight matchups against Ottawa./

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