The Maple Leafs envisioned a two-headed goaltending tandem to begin this season following a summer season of change.
With his associate already sidelined, Ilya Samonsov has an early alternative to stake his declare to Toronto’s crease.
The netminder made 26 saves and Justin Holl scored the winner with 1:55 left in regulation Saturday because the Leafs defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-2.
Samsonov began rather than Matt Murray, who was poised to get the decision in opposition to his former staff earlier than leaving the morning skate at Scotiabank Arena with an abductor harm.
“This is hockey,” Samsonov stated. “Sometimes you get put in a foul state of affairs. I’m prepared on a regular basis.”
The Leafs introduced about an hour earlier than puck drop in opposition to their provincial rivals that Murray, who had a tough time staying wholesome in two seasons with Ottawa earlier than a commerce to Toronto, had been positioned on long-term injured reserve and can miss no less than 4 weeks.
“You by no means preferred to see guys get harm,” Holl stated. “It’s very painful, each bodily and mentally for guys.”
Erik Kallgren, who was knocked out of the Toronto Marlies’ AHL opener Friday, was recalled and wholesome sufficient to decorate because the backup.
Leafs common supervisor Kyle Dubas wager large on the Murray-Samsonov tandem — goaltenders with previous success, however tons to show — within the low season after buying and selling the oft-injured Petr Mrazek and letting all-star Jack Campbell stroll in free company.
“He’s put in a variety of work,” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe stated of Murray. “He’s been wholesome throughout the low season, coaching camp, pre-season. He’s put in a variety of work.
“It’s disappointing for him … disappointing for us.”
William Nylander and David Kampf had the opposite targets for Toronto (2-1-0).
Claude Giroux, with a aim and an help, and Shane Pinto replied for Ottawa (0-2-0), which acquired 29 saves from Anton Forsberg.
“For probably the most half, we performed properly,” Senators captain Brady Tkachuk stated. “But it undoubtedly stings.”
A defenceman identified largely for his play on the different finish of the rink, Holl buried his first aim of the season after pinching down into the slot as Michael Bunting took the puck to the blue paint.
“Always good to pot one,” Holl stated.
Nylander pushed the Leafs forward 2-1 with 6:36 remaining within the third along with his second after the Senators could not clear the defensive zone.
But the guests responded 1:25 later when Giroux banged dwelling a unfastened puck for his first with Ottawa.
With their rebuild over and a younger core led by Tkachuk, Tim Stutzle and Thomas Chabot a 12 months older, the Senators had a headline-grabbing summer season with the additions of Giroux, sniper Alex DeBrincat and goaltender Cam Talbot, who’s at the moment out with an upper-body harm.
Toronto, in the meantime, picked up its first victory of the season Thursday in a 3-2 conquer Washington in Samsonov’s debut for the Leafs in opposition to the staff that minimize him unfastened.
Coming off a 4-1 loss in Buffalo to open its schedule, Ottawa took the lead on an influence play at 9:09 of the primary when Pinto ripped a one-timer for his second NHL aim after lacking most of final season with a shoulder harm. Rookie defenceman Jake Sanderson picked up the second help for his first level as an expert.
The Leafs tied the sport with 16.4 seconds left within the center interval when Kampf redirected Jake Muzzin’s shot by means of Forsberg’s pads.
Samsonov needed to be sharp within the third when Tyler Motte swept the puck off the stick of T.J. Brodie and on aim because the Toronto defenceman skated in entrance of his personal web earlier than the groups scored thrice in underneath 5 minutes.
“It was fairly humorous,” Samsonov stated with a smile. “This is a tough moment. You have to (be) prepared for this.”
The Leafs will want him to be prepared lots extra within the coming weeks.
MURRAY SIDELINED AGAIN
Murray performed simply 47 video games in his two seasons with the Senators following a commerce with Pittsburgh.
The 28-year-old had a tricky time staying wholesome within the nation’s capital, going 15-25-3 with an .899 save proportion and three.23 goals-against common.
Senators head coach D.J. Smith was requested Friday about Murray when it regarded like his former netminder would get the beginning in opposition to Ottawa.
“Take nothing away from him,” Smith stated. “He was harm on a regular basis. He had a variety of unhealthy luck.”
Leafs: Host the Arizona Coyotes on Monday.
Senators: Host the Boston Bruins on Tuesday of their dwelling opener.
This report by The Canadian Press was first printed Oct. 15, 2022.