The Ottawa Senators stunned the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-3 Saturday in the first Battle of Ontario matchup of the year.
Ottawa is now 1-0-1 with three of a possible four points to start the 2018-19 season.
In lieu of Erik Karlsson’s departure, rookie defenceman Thomas Chabot has stepped up to the task of filling the void early on. In the first two games of this season, Chabot has recorded four points. Against the Maple Leafs, Chabot scored two goals, including the game winner, and recorded an assist. On both goals, the 21-year-old demonstrated impressive offensive skill.
“As I got in the zone, I saw the defenseman kind of poke-check and open up his feet, so I knew I could try to squeeze it in between and go in on a breakaway, so I was pretty happy to squeeze in and put it in the back of the net,” Chabot told NHL.com correspondent, Dave McCarthy.
Craig “The Wall” Anderson
Craig Anderson was in the crease to deliver Ottawa’s first win of the season. He was a difference maker against the Maple Leafs, as Toronto outshot Ottawa 37-24 and doubled their scoring chance 80-40.
Anderson’s biggest save of the night was on a Mitch Marner penalty shot with just over five minutes remaining in the first period. The save kept the Senators lead intact at that point, silenced Leafs Nation, and encouraged stronger play from Ottawa’s skaters. Anderson finished the game with 34 saves, a .919 save percentage and 3.00 goals against average.
In an interesting twist, three former San Jose Shark players recorded their first points on the same night as members of the Ottawa Senators. Dylan DeMelo opened the scoring in the first period with a low hard shot from the point. Chris Tierney fired home a similar shot through Frederik Andersen’s five-hole on a fast rush later in the game. While, Mikkel Boedker recorded an assist on Chabot’s first goal. DeMelo and Tierney were acquired in the Karlsson trade, whereas Boedker was acquired in the Mike Hoffman trade. It is encouraging for Senator fans to see early production from these three players who will be an important part of Ottawa’s rebuild this season.
Holding the Lead
Impressively, the Ottawa Senators held on to the lead for over 47 minutes of the game against Toronto. The Senator’s opened the scoring 4:40 into the first period and held this lead until a flurry of goals from both teams early in the second. In less than five minutes, four goals were exchanged between the clubs, with Ottawa restoring their lead 3-2. Late in the period, Marner tied it with a powerplay goal. The Senators scored early in the third to regain the lead and held on for the rest of the game for the win.
“That’s got to be the identity of our team, said Senators coach Guy Boucher. “We know we’re not going to go out there and bulldoze our way through because we have high-end power like [the Maple Leafs] do. We know that. So we approach our games as one game at a time. We came in here wanting to grow and we did.”
- Before the game versus Toronto, the Senators recalled Paul Carey from Belleville to take Max McCormick’s position in the lineup. McCormick was injured last game in the season opener against Chicago.
- Brady Tkachuk did not dress for a second straight game due to a groin injury. He has yet to make his NHL debut. It is unlikely the Senators will rush him.
- Zack Smith, who was waived two weeks ago, was in Ottawa’s starting lineup for the game against Toronto.
- Four recently former Shark players recorded points in tonight’s game. In addition to DeMelo, Tierney, and Boedker from the Senators, Patrick Marleau of the Maple Leafs also registered a point.
- A visit to Scotiabank Arena in Toronto was Ottawa’s first road game of the season.
- The Senators have now won six of their last seven visits in Toronto.
|1||Ottawa||1-0||4:40||Dylan DeMelo (1)||Zack Smith (1), Thomas Chabot (2)|
|2||Toronto||1-1||00:29||Morgan Rielly (1)||Mitch Marner (1), Zach Hyman (1)|
|2||Toronto||1-2||1:10||Auston Matthews (3)||Patrick Marleau (2), Tyler Ennis (1)|
|2||Ottawa||2-2||3:49||Thomas Chabot (1)||Mikkel Boedker (1), Zack Smith (2)|
|2||Ottawa||3-2||4:30||Chris Tierney (1)||Ryan Dzingel (2)|
|2||Toronto [PPG]||3-3||18:20||Mitch Marner (1)||Auston Matthews (1), Morgan Rielly (2)|
|3||Ottawa||4-3||1:42||Thomas Chabot (2)||Bobby Ryan (1), Craig Anderson (1)|
|3||Ottawa||5-3||19:35||Mark Stone (1)||Matt Duchene (1)|
Cover Photo Credit of Dylan DeMelo (2): Chris Young/Canadian Press
Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter @BillyMorrison01.