Sports News

NHL Hockey
Scoreboard| Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions
Final 1 2 3 Tot
Toronto 1 1 1 3
Ottawa 1 3 1 5
4:00 PM PT5:00 PM MT6:00 PM CT7:00 PM ET0:00 GMT8:00 5:00 PM MST7:00 PM EST4:00 UAE (+1)19:00 ET22:00 BRT, January 15, 2021
Canadian Tire Centre, Kanata, Ontario  Attendance: 0

Maple Leafs looking to spoil Senators' home opener

Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators

  1. Toronto has won three straight games against Ottawa, its longest streak against the Sens since a six-game winning streak from March 2013 through February 2014. The Sens are 8-3-0 in their last 11 home games against the Leafs.
  2. The Maple Leafs opened their season with a 5-4 overtime win over Montreal. It was the third time since the 2017-18 season that they've scored at least five goals in their season opener -- prior to that, they hadn't done so since the 2002-03 season.
  3. William Nylander had two goals and an assist in the win over Montreal -- he had just three three-point games all of last season. He has 14 points (4g, 10a) in 16 career games against Ottawa.
  4. The Senators finished last year in seventh place in the Atlantic Division, the third straight year they've missed the postseason. They hadn't gone consecutive years without playoff appearances since their first four years in the league (1992-93 through 1995-96).
  5. Brady Tkachuk led Ottawa with 44 points (21g, 23a) last season. He ended the regular season at 19 years and 202 days old -- the only younger Senator to finish with a 20-goal, 20-assist season is Alexandre Daigle (19 years, 66 days) in 1993-94.
  6. Ottawa led the league with 15 shorthanded goals last season, five more than any other team (Anaheim and Carolina -- 10 each). Toronto allowed seven shorthanded goals last season, tied for ninth most in the league.

The Toronto Maple Leafs, who won their own season opener, will be trying to spoil the host Ottawa Senators' season debut on Friday night.

The teams will meet again Saturday night in Ottawa.

The Maple Leafs scored a 5-4 comeback victory over the Montreal Canadiens at home Wednesday night on an overtime goal by defenseman Morgan Rielly.

William Nylander had two goals and an assist, and John Tavares, who set up the game-winner, had a goal and two assists.

"It's the first game of the season here, first time playing a game at that tempo," Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe said. "We just had a pretty emotional comeback win here for our first, so I'm not going to get too nitpicky. We'll get better every day."

The Leafs will face a Senators team that has a lot of new faces compared to the team that started last season. Among them will be Tim Stutzle, the third overall pick in the 2020 NHL draft. Coach D.J. Smith has been playing the 18-year-old on a line with veteran Derek Stepan and newcomer Evgenii Dadonov in practices.

"My goal was to make the team," Stutzle said. "I'm so excited to be here right now. If I'm going to play (Friday). ... it's going to be a dream come true."

The emergence of veteran Artem Anisimov in training camp, and Josh Norris' strong performance, appear to have pushed Logan Brown -- a first-round pick in 2015 -- out of the mix at the center position.

The Senators finished 30th among the 31 teams in last season's overall standings.

They hope that the addition of forward Austin Watson and defensemen Josh Brown and Erik Gudbranson will make them better defensively.

"We definitely want to take a step forward," Senators alternate captain Thomas Chabot said. "The last three years I've been here we haven't had a great season. We've added a lot of pieces, whether it's younger guys or older guys, we added some pieces that are going to help us."

Goaltender Matt Murray, who was on two Stanley Cup-championship teams with the Pittsburgh Penguins, is a key addition to the Senators.

Murray, has a 3-3-1 lifetime record in eight career games against Toronto with a .926 save percentage and a 2.51 goals-against average.

The Senators know they are being severely tested with back-to-back games against the Maple Leafs.

"The Leafs are a very talented team, they've got a lot of talent up front," Chabot said. "We've got to find ways to break the puck out, talk a lot more on the ice and just little things that are going to help us going into our first game."

They will find that the Maple Leafs have added toughness, including the addition of forward Wayne Simmonds.

With Toronto trailing 3-1 in the second period against Montreal, Simmonds dropped Canadiens defenseman Ben Chiarot in a quick fight that seemed to energize the Leafs,

"It felt good," Simmonds said. "I thought the boys needed a little bit of spark there. I know my role on this team. I asked Chiarot and I didn't think he wanted to go at first, but he dropped the gloves before me, so it was green-light go. It helped turn the tide."

"It pretty much changed the whole game once that all went down," said fellow Maple Leafs newcomer Joe Thornton. "It got the guys' attention on the bench."

--Field Level Media

Updated January 14, 2021

Sports Data API Powered by STATS © 2021 by STATS PERFORM.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS PERFROM is strictly prohibited.