NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, October 6th
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (0-1-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (0-1-1), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - A pair of winless clubs will try to get in the win column
tonight, as the Toronto Maple Leafs host the rival Ottawa Senators at Air
The Maple Leafs are 0-1-1 this year after dropping an overtime test against
Montreal to open the season and then losing a decision Saturday at Washington.
Ottawa was handed a loss Saturday evening by the New York Rangers in its
season opener at Madison Square Garden.
Tonight, Toronto will try to avoid going winless in its opening three games
for the first time since posting an 0-1-2 record at the start of the 2005-06
The Leafs were dealt a 6-4 loss in D.C. on Saturday, as Alexander Semin scored
two goals and added an assist to lead the Capitals. Alexei Ponikarovsky and
Mikhail Grabovski each scored a goal and dished out an assist for the Maple
Niklas Hagman and Lee Stempniak had a goal apiece while Vesa Toskala allowed
three goals on only eight shots in the first period before being pulled in
favor of Jonas Gustavsson, who turned aside 16-of-19 shots over the final two
frames. Gustavsson is an NHL rookie after playing the last two years in the
Swedish Elite League.
"We didn't do a very good job in front of Vesa," Toronto coach Ron Wilson
said. "It gave me an opportunity to get Jonas a little bit of experience in a
tough building and he made some really good saves."
Wilson has not revealed whether Toskala or Gustavsson will get the start
Tonight's test marks the first of two straight on home ice for the Leafs, who
will also welcome defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh on Saturday.
Ottawa, meanwhile, was handed a 5-2 setback in its season opener against the
Rangers. Brandon Dubinsky had two goals and an assist to lead a dominating
effort by the Blueshirts.
Daniel Alfredsson and Peter Regin scored for Ottawa, which hasn't lost its
first two games of a season since going 0-2 to begin the 1995-96 campaign.
Pascal Leclaire, making his Sens debut after spending most of last season with
Columbus, allowed four goals on 33 shots in defeat.
The game also marked the first games in an Ottawa sweater for Jonathan
Cheechoo and Milan Michalek, who both came over from San Jose in the deal that
sent winger Dany Heatley to the Sharks. Neither Cheechoo nor Michalek
registered a point, and both combined to finish minus-three in the game.
After tonight, the Sens will return to Canada's capital city for a four-game
homestand. The residency begins Thursday when Ottawa stages its home-opener
against the New York Islanders.
Toronto won four of six meetings against the Senators in 2008-09 and the Leafs
have taken eight of 11 overall in the series. Ottawa has dropped three
straight and five of its last six games in Toronto.
10/06 10:31:40 ET