The Senators ended their perfect pre season so far tonight, falling to the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 at the CTC in a pretty sloppy affair. As you might expect in a game that featured many who won't play in the NHL this season on both sides, the game was a bit chippy and lacked rhythm, but it was just nice to have hockey back for the first home game of the new season.
It was a game that gave Sens Army a first look at new acquisition in Bobby Ryan, who had a noticeable night, but was far from perfect. Gaining chemistry takes times however, so don't read too much into it. The Michalek-Spezza-Ryan line will end up being one of the best in the NHL this year.
The 2 Sens goals came from prospects who barring a major surprise, won't make the final roster in Fredrik Claesson and Andre Petersson. The forward Petersson was particularly noticeable, causing trouble all night long for the Leafs, alongside linemates JG Pageau and Shane Prince, the latter who drew 2 powerplay opportunities. With all due respect to the top unit, this was the line that was most effective tonight.
The powerplay featured Spezza, Ryan, Michalek, Karlsson and Wiercioch, who takes the departed Sergei Gonchar's role on PP1. At times they looked promising and had several chances to score, but they failed to put one past the goalie. It was an area of concern last season and they will need to improve for Ottawa to be successful tonight.
Craig Anderson played the first 2 periods, letting in 2 of the 3 Leafs goals. To be honest, neither were good goals and perhaps he was a bit rusty in his first action of the season.
Overall, it wasn't a great performance by either side and the L isn't really a big deal. With the loss, the Sens fall to 2-1 in the pre season. With 2 helpers and a +2 rating to go with 22:07 TOI, Patrick Wiercioch wins the night. Expect a few players to be cut tomorrow as well.
Thanks for reading and be sure to follow me on twitter @SensTown. Be back with more tomorrow.