After opening up the season 2-0 on the road, the Toronto Maple Leafs will look to make it 3-0 with a victory over their hated rival, the Ottawa Senators. Will they be able to prevail?
The Senators are coming off a hard-fought 1-0 win against the Buffalo Sabres last night. It was a goaltending battle for the entire game as the one goal was not scored until the last two minutes of the third period. It is that fact that will make this game a tough test. Craig Anderson will do his best to keep the Leafs off the score sheet, and Leafs like Phil Kessel and James van Riemsdyk to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The Leafs will also need to overcome two injuries as Mark Fraser and Nikolai Kulemin will be unable to play tonight. As a result, Morgan Rielly and Spencer Abbott will make their NHL regular season debuts. This will be the first chance Rielly will have to show that he can handle the speed of the NHL game. If he does, he will surely get more chances before the Leafs have to decide whether to send him back to the WHL. Abbott will take Kulemin’s spot on the second line until David Clarkson comes back from his suspension.
James Reimer should be able to give the Blue & White the advantage in the game. In his career so far, he has amassed a record of 8-1-1. The Leafs hope he improves the record.
The Leafs will need to continue to iron out the kinks in their play if they want to be successful down the road. This is the first game of six in a row where they will face a team that finished behind them in the standings last season. If they can take advantage of this stretch, they will put themselves in a good position for the rest of the first quarter of the season.