The Pittsburgh Penguins organization may have eliminated both the Ottawa and Binghamton Senators from the playoffs last season, but this is a new season and the Senators gained some measure of revenge in the opening game of the London rookie tournament. OK, I jest, as I hate the reference that beating a team in a meaningless (even regular season) game gets any type of payback for prior events.
But, whenever the Senators jersey gets pulled on to face another franchise, you want the Red and White to succeed. And that is what happened, as the Senator prospects played a very solid game in defeating the Pittsburgh prospects 4-1.
Derek Grant led the offense with 2 goals, but it was Shane Prince who led the way, assisting on two goals and dominating a fight against Penguins weasel Bobby Farnham. Troy Rutkowski and Jean-Gabriel Pageau had the other goals for the Senators, both set up by Prince.
The Senators top line of Pageau, Prince and 2013 first round pick Curtis Lazar were easily the best line on the ice from the opening face-off, as all three made a case to be in the running for one of the few open roster spots with the big club come October. Prince in particular, known more for his skill than his ability to chuck the knuckles, earned some respect with a big hit and followed that up with sticking up for himself when confronted by Farnham, who had 274 penalty minutes in 64 games in the AHL last season.
Francois Brassard and Chris Driedger split the goaltending duties for the Senators, with Brassard allowing the goal on a Penguins power play in the dying seconds of the first period.
While the win means nothing in the grand scheme of things, a win is a win and it is a great way to kick off the new season.
Ottawa will be off Friday, and they will face off against the Chicago Blackhawks rookies on Saturday afternoon before closing out the tournament on Sunday evening against the Toronto Maple Leafs.