The 2011-2012 NHL season officially kicked off tonight as your Ottawa Senators battled the Toronto Maple Leafs in both teams first pre-season game. With both teams having a lot to prove this season, this game was important to getting the season started on the right foot. With at least ten veterans being iced on each team, the game also featured many young prospects vying for roster spots.
With a total of 21 penalty minutes in the first period, Ottawa had to pay for their undisciplined play. Colby Armstrong notched his first of the pre-season as he scored 30 seconds into the power play. The highlight of the period for Ottawa was seeing defenseman Jared Cowen steping up and protecting his teammate as he took on Leafs’ captain Dion Phaneuf.
Cowen continued to make his impact on the game as he got Ottawa back into the game as he finished off a nice pass from Nikita Filatov. With the game now tied, Ottawa again got into penalty trouble and it again cost them. Carl Gunnarsson scored Toronto’s second power play goal of the game to regain the Leafs’ one goal lead.
With Ottawa fighting to get back into the game, Tyler Bozak extended the Leafs’ lead as he netted his first of the pre-season. Cowen once again made an impact as he scored hi second of the game to cut the lead to one. But Bozak scored his second of the game to put the Leafs up by two for good. In the end, the final was a 4-2 Leafs win.
Milan Michalek left the game with a knee injury in the third period. When an update is provided, we’ll update Michalek’s injury.
1st Star ~ Jared Cowen earns it with two goals and a fight. Not a bad debut.
2nd Star ~ Tyler Bozak earns it with two goals and an assist. Third line duty seems to be working out for him.
3rd Star ~Nikita Filatov had two assists in his Sens debut. Let the legend grow.
The Sens lost this game due to their own sloppy play. Give-a-ways and undisciplined play cost them on the scoreboard and in the end. With their next game scheduled for Wednesday night versus Boston, look for Ottawa to put forth a better effort.
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