The Senators dominated puck possession but failed to turn that into goals as they fell short to The Leafs in their first appearance at the newly named Canadian Tire Centre. The Sens surrendered a late third period goal from Leafs newly acquired C Dave Bolland as he beat Nathan Lawson on the third chance after two great saves from the young Sens netminder.
THE SENATORS STARTING LINE-UP:
Chris Phillips-Fredrik Claesson
Patrick Wiercioch-Chris Wideman
- Fredrik Claesson opened the scoring for the Senators on one timer from the point. Bobby Ryan fired a pass from behind the net towards the front seeking Jason Spezza, but finding an open Claesson instead. Patrick Wiercioch had the 2nd assist on the play.
- A questionable penalty call on J-G Pageau lead to a Power Play goal scored by Leafs C Nazem Kadri to tie things at 1. Pageau was cut on the play as it appeared that two Leaf forwards Clarkson and Kadri were trading shots at the small centre somehow resulting in a Toronto Power Play.
- The Leafs took the lead shortly after scoring the equalizer as the fast skating winger Mason Raymond centred a pass on a partial 2 on 1 play, that hit Craig Anderson moving across his crease and went behind him.
- Andre Petersson then tied the game for the Senators on a nifty backhander up high, after receiving a pass from Wiercioch with just over 30 seconds left in the second frame.
- The Leafs finished the scoring on a 3rd rebound chance in front of Sens goal-tender Lawson, Lawson had made two terrific saves before Dave Bolland tucked it past him while off balance.
SENSHOT PLAYER OF THE GAME:
Patrick Wiercioch was very impressive in his first test of the pre season. Wiercioch made some really nice tape to tape breakout passes resulting in odd man rushes in the Senators Favour. He appears to have really improved his lateral movement on his skates and could be a half stride quicker than he was last season. Aside from getting 2 points on the night Wiercioch looked good playing to the right side of Erik Karlsson on the power play.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS:
- Mika Zibanejad looked very good especially early on when he dazzled the crowed, dangling around a stationary Dion Phaneuf and getting a good shot off. It was clear that his wingers Colin Greening and Chris Neil really held him back as far as creating anything tangible.
- The Senators top line of Bobby Ryan, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek struggled at times during the game. They did show some flash but for the most part could not retrieve the puck on entries into the zone. Ryan looked slow and somewhat out of sync with other two forwards. It will be interesting to see if Paul Maclean decides to keep them as a trio moving forward.
- The 3 little P’s in a pod, of course that’s Shane Prince, J-G Pageau and Andre Petersson. All 3 looked very good together. In particular Pageau looked very, very good. His penalty killing was excellent, resulted in a short handed breakaway on one occasion and his overall game showed that he’s ready to stay. Andre Petersson was also very impressive, he scored the second Senators goal on a nicely placed backhand and showed flashes of high end skill. This line was Ottawas best line and the sad fact is that all three players have a very long shot of actually cracking the roster out of camp.
- The Senators certainly showed some encouraging play and particular in their puck possession. Despite losing 3-2 on the scoreboard the game was fairly one sided in the Sens favour, the lack of finish was the only reason this one ended in a loss.
- Erik Karlsson was very ordinary in this one, didn’t see the Karlsson one man rush nearly enough and really didn’t see much of Karlssons skill at all. He didn’t have a bad game but he wasn’t as noticeable as he normally is offensively.
- Craig Anderson typically likes feeling the puck early, something the Senators let him do often times last season, this game he stood watching for much of the first frame and never really got into it. Again he wasn’t bad, just not the Anderson we know. Also note that Anderson did not return to the Sens bench after the second period. Hopefully he didn’t re-injure the ankle or pull anything out their, he did not appear to go off in any discomfort at the end of the second. Updates will surely come on the situation.
- Lastly Nathan Lawson looked very strong for the one period he played, he surrendered the eventual game winner but not before making some saves that certainly could have lit the lamp. Lawson made a glove save on Leafs forward Carter Ashton that is sure to get some exposure on highlight reels tomorrow morning.
Next stop for The Sens is just up the road and against the same team, although it may look different in terms of players. The Sens vs Leafs part 2 of the Pre-season Battle of Ontario is this Tuesday when the Sens will look to rebound at the Air Canada Centre in their fourth pre season contest. Again we will surely see different players on either teams and will coach MacLean split the top line up? That will be one of the burning questions moving on in exhibition play.