October 12, 2016 - 8:40 PM
OTTAWA - New Ottawa Senators head coach Guy Boucher has been telling everyone that his team is going to be solid defensively, more so than they were last season.
Judging from Ottawa's 5-4 overtime win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night, there's still some work to do. The Senators surrendered 38 shots and all four goals allowed were from Auston Matthews in his NHL debut.
"I don't think there was a lack of effort. We know there's a process and it's going to take time," Boucher said."The second period we killed ourselves with penalties. I really like how we were in the third period compared with the other two periods because it was all about playing hard and being patient."
The Senators took four minor penalties in the second period but managed to kill them all. The Leafs were 0 for 4 overall on the power play.
Ottawa allowed a goal with three seconds left in the second period that broke a 3-3 tie after Derick Brassard scored for Ottawa just over two minutes earlier.
"We battled some adversity tonight," said Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. "I think that's the best way to explain it. We gave up that late one in the second period and I'm frustrated, the guys are frustrated but we just made sure we were focused for the third and it was nice to see."
Kyle Turris tied the game in the third and won it for the Senators in overtime. Bobby Ryan also scored for Ottawa.
"I think overall we played OK," said Senators captain Erik Karlsson, who had a goal and two assists. "They're a good team and they created a lot of scoring chances and they scored on the chances they got. At the end of the day we did what we had to do and we played the first 10 minutes the same way we played the last 10 minutes and we ended up getting two points.
"It was a good lesson for us and it was a good game, probably not the best game we're going to play this year but we're going to take it."
The offence aside, Boucher said that Karlsson was the leader for his club with his defensive game and that it will take time for everyone to round into form.
"I thought Karlsson was on all night. He led us defensively playing the right way and not overdoing things and you can't ask any more from your captain. We know we're going to score some goals but we have to tighten up defensively," Boucher explained, adding a time frame to see results.
'It takes a month and a half. The day you've got your team that's how it works. Doesn't mean you don't win games and it doesn't mean you don't get better, it's just that until you like most of what you see, it takes a long time."
As for Brassard, who grew up across the river from Ottawa in Gatineau (then known as Hull), Que., it was the 128th regular season goal of his career, but his first goal in his first game with the Senators and it came with about 40 friends and family in the stands.
"It's special to score wearing this jersey for sure," said Brassard, who nearly ended the game in regulation but was robbed by the glove hand of Leafs netminder Frederik Andersen with two minutes to play in regulation.
"I was a little anxious. Those first games are always special for hockey players and you have to be careful the way you control your emotions because sometimes it could just drain all the energy to have. That's the way I felt a little."
News from © The Canadian Press, 2016