Coming off a 2-1 win on opening night against the Montreal Canadiens, the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to Ottawa to face the Senators Thursday.
William Nylander was a standout performer for the Maple Leafs against Montreal, scoring the game-winning goal and generating a handful of high-quality shots.
The line of Pierre Engvall, David Kampf, and Ondrej Kase was also very effective at both ends of the rink for Toronto. “(Kampf’s) line was really strong at 5-on-5,” said Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe after Wednesday night’s win. “They had chances, spent a lot of time in the offensive zone. Kampf was really good, as were Kase and Engvall.”
A strong checking line could help the Leafs play a tighter defensive game, especially while star scorer Auston Matthews is sidelined. Matthews is expected to miss both games of the home-and-home series against Ottawa this week. The Maple Leafs host the Sens Saturday night.
After Jack Campbell was outstanding to earn the win on opening night, the Maple Leafs turn to Petr Mrazek in goal against the Senators. Mrazek was signed as a free agent in the offseason after posting a .923 save percentage in a dozen games for Carolina last season.
Here is the Toronto Maple Leafs’ expected lineup for the second game of the season, same as the first:
Ritchie – Tavares – Marner
Bunting – Kerfoot – Nylander
Engvall – Kampf – Kase
Amadio – Spezza – Simmonds
Rielly – Brodie
Muzzin – Holl
Sandin – Dermott
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) October 14, 2021
The Ottawa Senators signed left winger Brady Tkachuk to a seven-year, $57.5 million contract Thursday, ending a protracted negotiation between the player and club. Tkachuk is one of the few Senators that drives positive results and is a gritty, heart-and-soul player. It would have really been tough on the franchise if they could not come to an agreement that would get him into the lineup.
Now that Tkachuk is signed, he is still not expected to play Thursday. He missed all of training camp so it could take at least a week to get him up to speed but it is possible that he might be able to accelerate that timeline, too. In any case the Senators are a young and promising team that will be looking to continue the development of their core, a core that is typically led by Tkachuk.
Ottawa’s goaltending is questionable coming into the season, but they will be missing starting netminder Matt Murray for the opener due to illness. That leaves Anton Forsberg to start in net. Forsberg has bounced around quite a bit, playing 11 NHL games while getting claimed three times on waivers in the past two seasons.
Here is Ottawa’s expected lineup for Thursday’s game, their first of the season:
Stutzle – Norris – Batherson
Paul – Pinto – C. Brown
Formenton – Tierney – Ennis
Sanford – Shaw – Kelly
Chabot – Zub
Mete – Zaitsev
Holden – J. Brown
Watch on TSN4 and listen on Sportsnet 590 The Fan in Toronto.
Not a member? Subscribe to TorontoHockeyNow today and get $10 dollars off our subscription fee of $39.99 for access to all four Canadian sites. Use promo code “Maple Leafs” to get $10 off on your first day!