Canada
This article was added by the user . TheWorldNews is not responsible for the content of the platform.

Holl of a start for Maple Leafs in opening win of doubleheader against Ottawa

Toronto Maple Leafs centre Fraser Minten (39) celebrates the win with Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Filip Kral (82) against the Ottawa Senators at the end of the third period at Scotiabank Arena.
Toronto Maple Leafs centre Fraser Minten (39) celebrates the win with Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Filip Kral (82) against the Ottawa Senators at the end of the third period at Scotiabank Arena. Photo by Nick Turchiaro /USA TODAY Sports

A few old Maple Leafs showed some new moves Saturday as their NHL exhibition season opened against Ottawa.

Toronto launched a unique afternoon-evening double header versus the Senators, with a three-goal middle period and 4-1 win. Coming five months after a Game 7 first-round playoff exit at Scotiabank Arena to Tampa Bay, it was a positive start to seven total pre-season games in front of 14,532 fans, mainly youths admitted for free.

From our newsroom to your inbox at noon, the latest headlines, stories, opinion and photos from the Toronto Sun.

By clicking on the sign up button you consent to receive the above newsletter from Postmedia Network Inc. You may unsubscribe any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link at the bottom of our emails. Postmedia Network Inc. | 365 Bloor Street East, Toronto, Ontario, M4W 3L4 | 416-383-2300

The Leafs stormed Cam Talbot in a span of 2:14 in the second period and hung on as Ottawa pushed back on farmhand goalie Dylan Ferguson in the third.

Toronto’s goal spurt began with defenceman Justin Holl moving up to keep play alive and then being let alone to bury a wrist shot. More pressing led to William Nylander getting a blueline turnover, racing back with Denis Malgin 2-on-1, waiting until the last second when in deep to feed Malgin.

Holl and Mark Giordano then relayed the puck across the blueline, with second-year pro Alex Steeves tipping the latter’s shot. That was just before Talbot’s scheduled exit for Kevin Mandolese, while Erik Kallgren exited after two periods for Ferguson .

Mitch Marner, who spoke Friday of putting on extra beef in the summer to make him harder to knock off pucks, drew two early penalties, but an ad hoc power play missed both chances and another in the second.

Ottawa was up 1-0 on a nice stretch pass by Max Guenette allowed Tim Stutzle a step on Giordano.

The Leafs have broken up their top lines early in camp to give some newcomers a comfort zone, notably taking Marner away from Auston Matthews to play with John Tavares and left wing auditioner Adam Gaudette. The latter showed his physical side Saturday.

A Swedish – Swiss line has been formed, new centre Pontus Holmberg between Nylander and Malgin, a former Matthews’ linemate in Zurich who preferred playing at home the past two years after an eight-game Toronto trial.

Fraser Minten, likely headed to the airport after the game to re-join the junior Kamloops Blazers didn’t look overwhelmed for an 18-year-old. This year’s top pick centred Steeves and veteran Wayne Simmonds, was out to kill a late 6-on-4 when Steeves hit an empty net.

The Sens debuted two big off-season acquisitions up front, Claude Giroux and Alex DeBrincat.

Matthews and Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk were among those scheduled to play in the nightcap.

lhornby@postmedia.com