Bobby Ryan gave his new team a goal and a scare as the Ottawa Senators rolled over the visiting Montreal Canadiens, 5-2, at Canadian Tire Centre in the first meeting between the teams since the Sens eliminated the Habs in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last spring.
Ryan's power-play goal gave the Senators a 2-1 lead after one period. He left the game with just over five minutes remaining in the second after a collision behind the net. Though he returned a few minutes later, coach Paul MacLean opted to sit Ryan for the third period.
"It wasn't overly hard, but it put me in an uncomfortable spot, hitting the wall," Ryan said. "Nothing too bad, just a burner. The way the game was going, they felt it was best to take some time and get the information out of it.
"I think we erred on the side of caution, which I certainly understand."
"Our execution and our ability to play with speed wound up making the difference," MacLean said. "I thought our players did a good job of staying focused and staying intense to make sure we won the game."
Andrew Hammond made 24 saves for Ottawa, allowing goals to Magnus Nygren and Raphael Diaz.
The Canadiens iced a six-man defense corps that had a combined 99 games of NHL experience, 82 of which belonged to Diaz.
"We tried to give an opportunity to the young kids; that's been our plan since about a week ago and we targeted this game. I think besides two guys, that was their full lineup," coach Michel Therrien said of the Senators. "It was a demanding game for young kids. Look at our defense and we didn't have much experience out there."