RECAP | Senators – Canadiens: Shaky Start for Habs’ Rookies

Photo by Ottawa Senators

Ottawa Senators vs Montreal Canadiens Game Recap: Line-up, Score, Game Report, Statistics, Highlights, Post-game Interviews, Three Stars, Rocket Sports Media

FINAL | 2019 Rookie Showcase Game 2 | Saturday, September 7, 2019
CAA Arena, Belleville, ON



2 – 4



Photo by Ottawa Senators

Canadiens Lineup

Forward lines

Harvey-Pinard – Poehling – Suzuki

McShane – Evans – Alain

Fonstad – Verbeek – Guay

Cox – Hillis – Howel

Defense pairings

Fairbrother – Brook

Leskinen – Fleury

Crevier-Morin – LeGuerrier


Primeau – Shank 


Pezzetta, Adams-Moisan, Marleau, York, Struthers



Game Report

After months of anticipation, the Montreal Canadiens finally kicked off game action to begin the 2019-20 hockey season when their rookies took to the ice at CAA Arena in Belleville, ON for this year’s annual Rookie Showcase tournament.

The Habs first took on the host team, who had defeated the Winnipeg Jets handily the night before.  In the opening period, it was obvious that the Ottawa Senators were riding high from that victory as they came out setting a quick pace and controlling the puck. All eyes for Canadiens fans were primarily on the top line, which featured Ryan Poehling at center with Nick Suzuki on his right wing.

For the Canadiens, the opening 20 minutes looked pretty much how you may have guessed the first period of a new team would look: they had trouble getting out and staying out of their own zone, looked a bit nervous, and were dominated physically. Newly-signed free agent Otto Leskinen made a good impression early on, however, by playing with confident physicality and making a couple of solid shots.

Chances were there for Montreal, but players couldn’t seem to find a lot of finish. In one instance, Ottawa netminder Joey Daccord lost the puck in the paint but the Habs couldn’t find a way to tap it across the goal line.
Montreal came out shooting more in the second period, and seemed to start settling into a rhythm. But no sooner than the Canadiens begin to put some plays together, the Senators buried the opening shot of a power play to make it 1-0.  To their credit, the Habs answered with a goal of their own a few minutes later as Rafael Harvey-Pinard managed to trickle the puck past Daccord.
Poehling shifted into another gear in the final period. His laser-accurate passing and skating abilities took center stage as he showed tremendous game maturity and patience shift after shift. Vitaly Abramov put the puck past Cayden Primeau two more times for Ottawa to complete a hat trick against the Canadiens. Jonathan Aspirot followed that with an empty-netter, after Primeau was pulled for the extra attacker with over three minutes left in the game.
But it was Montreal who would have the last word in this game, when Liam Hawel managed to find the back of the net with just 10 seconds remaining on the clock.
One player who had a surprisingly tough night was defenseman Josh Brook. In the first period, he and Parker Kelly made full contact with each other in open ice and both times Brook ended up on his back. He struggled to control the puck, he seemed to be chasing the play, and one of his turnovers cost the team a goal.

Despite the 4-2 loss to Ottawa, the players seemed to have a positive outlook after the game and will have a chance to correct tonight’s mistakes pretty quickly when they take on the Winnipeg Jets on Sunday night.

Plus / Minus

▲  Ryan Poehling, Cale Fleury, Otto Leskinen

▼  Josh Brook, Marc-Olivier Crevier-Morin, Jacob LeGuerrier

The Numbers

 Game Statistics 
36 Shots 24
0 for 4 Power Play 1 for 2
8 Penalty Minutes 4
 Scoring Summary
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
Canadiens (0-1-0) 0 1 1 2
Senators (2-0-0) 0 1 3 4
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Harvey-Pinard (1), Hawel (1)
  • OTT: Abramov (2), Abramov (3), Abramov (4), Aspirot (1)
  • MTL: Primeau (L) 0-1-0
  • OTT: Daccord (W) 1-0-0

Stars of the Game​

 NHL Official Three Stars
  1. Vitaly Abramov  OTT
  2. Joey Daccord  OTT
  3. Jonathan Gruden  OTT


 Video Highlights 

What Did They Say?

 Post-game Interviews

Post-game interview with Joel Bouchard

Post-game interview with Ryan Poehling

Post-game interview with Nick Suzuki

Post-game interview with Jake Evans

Interviews conducted by Amy Johnson for AHL Report

Social Media

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