OTTAWA — Pascal Leclaire and the
Ottawa Senators were able to keep John Tavares from scoring a goal, but
they couldn't prevent the New York Islanders' prized prospect from
contributing to the score sheet.
The Senators, however, pulled out the win.
Mike Fisher scored 32 seconds into overtime to give Ottawa a victory over the Islanders on Thursday night.
Fisher broke down the left side and
put the first shot of the extra period past Martin Biron as Ottawa
(2-1) won its home opener.
"They pushed pretty hard, especially
when they got that power-play goal in the third and they got a bit of
momentum out of it," said Leclaire, who made 23 saves in his third
straight start for the Senators. "Then we got that big goal in
overtime. It's pretty exciting, and as a goalie you like that. You
don't have to go to a shootout, and the fans get what they want. So
it's a good night. It shows a lot of character."
Tavares, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's NHL draft, recorded his third point in two games with the Islanders (0-0-2).
"He's crafty," Fisher said. "He makes
plays and he's good with the puck. On the power play, we've got to key
in on him. He can make plays, for sure."
The 19-year-old center assisted on
Matt Moulson's power-play goal 5:29 into the third which drew New York
even at 2, allowing the Islanders to earn their second standings point.
"I thought I did well and I'm hoping
to do better next time and keep improving from there," said Tavares,
who had a goal and an assist in his debut, a 4-3 loss to Pittsburgh on
He came close to scoring in the second, but Leclaire stuck out his left pad to deny his shot at an open right side.
"I didn't even know it was him, it
happened too quick," Leclaire said. "He's good. He's got a lot of
pressure on him. Everybody's looking at what he does, and he's already
an impact player on that team. The way he handles the puck, he's
patient already and he doesn't get rattled — he's going to be a good
one for sure."
Ottawa defenseman Matt Carkner
scored his first career goal 13:12 into the second to give the Senators
a 2-0 lead after he assisted on Peter Regin's first-period tally.
"I thanked [Fisher] at the end there
for winning the game," Carkner said. "If we didn't win, it wouldn't
have felt half as good. It was awesome to get the win."
Kyle Okposo, Tavares' and Moulson's
linemate, drew the Islanders within 2-1 late in the second with his
first goal of the season.
Biron, in his first Islanders start,
stopped 25 shots. He made a huge glove save on Alex Kovalev during an
Ottawa power play with 6:20 remaining in regulation.
"We got two points in two games, but
the other teams got four," Biron said. "We know that we fought hard, we
fought hard against Pittsburgh at home, we had the lead, took the lead
again, we fought back to get in the game tonight — we're not satisfied
"People might look at it as
positive. It's a step, but it's not the step we want to take. The guys
are not happy about losing. We all hate losing and that's a good sign."
Doug Weight made his debut as the
12th captain in Islanders franchise history after sitting out the home
opener because of a groin injury.
Moulson took Weight's centering pass from the left corner and beat Leclaire with a shot from the goal mouth.
Regin opened the scoring 7:25 in when he redirected Chris Neil's shot from the edge of the crease for his second of the season.
Carkner, a second-round pick by
Montreal in the 1999 draft who played in two NHL games before this
season, scored his first goal 13:12 into the second to put the Senators
Carkner carried the puck down the
right side and was behind the goal line when he centered the puck,
which struck Biron's stick and caromed into the net.
"It's definitely not something that I planned, but it was a definite bonus for me," Carkner said.
Okposo made it 2-1 with 2:04
remaining in the second. Moulson earned an assist when Okposo finished
off a strong individual effort as he cut to the net from the left side
and reached around to swipe the puck past Leclaire.
Islanders C Rob Schremp and
LW Blake Comeau also made their season debuts. Schremp was claimed off
waivers from Edmonton on Sept. 29. … Carkner had one assist when he
made his NHL debut with San Jose in the 2005-06 season. He also
appeared in one game with Ottawa last season. … Senators LW Jarkko
Ruutu played his 500th regular-season game. Ruutu, called for tripping
early in the third, has 43 goals, 62 assists and 866 penalty minutes in
his NHL career with Ottawa, Pittsburgh and Vancouver.
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