You would be hard pressed to draw up a more perfect home opener for the Ottawa Senators.
Paul MacLean's team was in control of this from the moment the puck dropped at Scotiabank Place on Monday night. Kyle Turris scored twice, and Jim O'Brien and Jakub Silfverber each pitched in with one as the Sens dominated the Florida Panthers from start to finish.
For a team that had some blueline concerns coming into the season, Ottawa played a crisp and nearly error free game. Any time they did slip up, Craig Anderson was there to bail them out.
The Sens dominated the first period, feeding off the energy of a sold out Scotiabank Place. They outshot the Panthers 18-4 but could only get one past Panthers starter Jose Theodore. The lone goal came from Kyle Turris as he one timed a perfect feed from Patrick Wiercioch past a surprised and out of position Theodore.
In the second period, Florida had there chances to get back in the game but couldn't beat Anderson.
It was Turris again, finishing off a perfect pass from Latendresse, that gave the Sens the cushion they would need. From that point on, MacLean's team played near mistake free hockey.
O'Brien would score on a nifty individual effort and Silfverberg buried a perfect feed from Spezza for his first in the NHL late in the final frame.
Much like in Winnipeg on Saturday, there were plenty of players that stood out for the Sens. Oddly enough, while he didn't record a point this time around, I thought Erik Karlsson was the best defenceman for the Senators. His puck control was on another level and his play in his own end was much better than on Saturday.
The Senators now move to 2-0 on the season and will have a couple days off before heading South for back to back games against the Panthers and Lightning, starting on Thursday night.
- There were plenty of excellent moments in the home opener both on and off the ice but the highlight may have come in the form of the Paul MacLean look-a-like sitting directly behind the Ottawa bench. The camera operators were on top of it too, placing the twins on the scoreboard a few times. The reactions from Paul MacLean were priceless
- Also, hats off to the fans that tried to get the Alfie Countdown back for another season. There was clearly some rust to shake off but by the third period the chant seemed to be picking up steam and actually got a smile out of the Sens Captain as he saw himself up on the big screen. Keep it up Sens fans!