Toronto Maple Leafs Beat Ottawa Senators In The Season Opener 5-3

Auston Matthews



















Frederik Gauthier put the Maple Leafs on the board at 2:20 of the second period. Gauthier recorded three goals and 11 assists in 70 games during the 2018-19 season. The Maple Leafs were 3-0-0 when Gauthier scored a goal last season.

Trevor Moore scored Toronto’s second goal of the night at 4:42 of the second period. Moore had a pair of goals and six assists in 25 games with the Maple Leafs last season. He had 23 goals in 46 games with the Toronto Marlies (AHL) in 2018-19, which ranked second on the team.

Auston Matthews registered the third Maple Leafs goal of the night at 8:02 of the second period and later had Toronto’s fourth goal of the night on the power play at 14:50 of the second period. Per NHL Stats, he is the fourth player in League history to score in each of his first four career season openers, joining Dit Clapper (1927-28 – 1930-31), Dave Andreychuk (1982-83 – 1985-86) and Sergei Fedorov (1990-91 –1993-94). Matthews has registered multiple points in four consecutive season openers to begin his career.

Ilya Mikheyev notched the primary assist on Moore’s second period goal and later had the fifth Maple Leafs goal of the night at 9:43 of the third period. Mikheyev’s assist was his first career NHL point, while his third period goal is his first career NHL goal.

Tyson Barrie recorded the primary assist on Gauthier’s second period goal and later had the primary assist on Mikheyev’s third period goal. Barrie’s first assist was his first point as a Maple Leaf. He had seven multi-assist games in 2018-19. 

Dmytro Timashov collected the secondary assist on Gauthier’s second period goal. Timashov’s assist is his first career NHL point. He ranked third among Toronto Marlies (AHL) skaters in assists last season with 35 in 72 games.

Rasmus Sandin had the secondary assist on Moore’s second period goal. Sandin’s assist is his first career NHL point. He was the top scoring U-19 skater in the AHL last season with 28 points (6-22-28) in 44 games with the Toronto Marlies.

Willian Nylander registered the primary assist on Matthews’ second period goal. Nylander had 20 assists and 27 points (7-20-27) in 54 games during the 2018-19 season. The Maple Leafs were 11-3-0 when Nylander picked up an assist last season.

Morgan Rielly picked up the secondary assist on Matthews’ second period goal. Rielly registered a career-high 52 assists last season, which ranked fifth among all NHL defencemen.

Mitch Marner recorded the primary assist on Matthews’ second period power play goal. Marner led the Maple Leafs in assists last season with 68 to finish fourth among all NHL skaters.

John Tavares collected the secondary assist on Matthews’ second period power play goal. In 2018-19, Tavares had 88 points (47 goals, 41 assists) in 82 games to establish a new single-season career-high for points.

Frederik Andersen stopped 23 shots to earn the victory tonight.

SHOTS ON GOAL (5-on-5 in brackets)








12 (11)

3 (3)

11 (7)

26 (21)


14 (8)

17 (15)

11 (9)

42 (32)







SHOT ATTEMPTS (5-on-5 in brackets)









17 (16)

11 (8)

19 (15)

47 (39)


31 (19)

28 (25)

21 (14)

80 (58)



The Maple Leafs are 1-0-0 at home this season.

Toronto's all-time record is 54-53-3-11 in 121 games against the Senators and 30-22-2-7 in 61 games played in Toronto.

Toronto is 1-0-0 against the Eastern Conference this season and 1-0-0 against the Atlantic Division.

Tonight’s attendance was 19,612.



8 (Matthews)

Shot Attempts

14 (Matthews)

Faceoff Wins

13 (Tavares)

Faceoff Win Percentage

57% (Tavares – 13 won, 10 lost)


4 (Timashov)

Blocked Shots

2 (Ceci)


3 (Matthews, Tavares)


25:18 (Rielly)

Power Play TOI

4:39 (Rielly)

Shorthanded TOI

3:33 (Marincin)


28 (Muzzin)

5-on-5 Shot Attempt Percentage

72.2% (Sandin – 13 for, 5 against)




The Maple Leafs were 3-for-3 on the penalty kill and 1-for-5 on the power play tonight. Toronto is 1-0-0 when not allowing a power play goal this season and 1-0-0 when scoring one power play goal.

Toronto is 1-0-0 when allowing the first goal of the game.

The Maple Leafs are 1-0-0 when trailing after one period and 1-0-0 when leading after two periods.

Toronto is 1-0-0 when outshooting their opponent.

The Maple Leafs are 1-0-0 in Wednesday games.


Toronto challenged for offside at 7:28 of the second period. It was determined that Bobby Ryan was offside prior to Ron Hainsey’s goal. The original call was overturned – No goal Ottawa.

Tyson Barrie and William Nylander were on the ice for a team-high 26 Toronto shot attempts-for at 5-on-5. Barrie finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 61.9 percent (26 for, 16 against), while Nylander finished the game with a 5-on-5 shot attempt percentage of 63.4 percent (26 for, 15 against).

Auston Matthews was 3-for-4 (75%) in the faceoff circle when in the offensive zone.

William Nylander started 16.7 percent of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which was the lowest mark among Toronto skaters.

John Tavares won 73 percent (8 won, 3 lost) of his offensive zone faceoffs.


Friday, October 4, 7:00 p.m. at Columbus Blue Jackets (TSN4, FAN 590)

Saturday, October 5, 7:00 p.m. vs. Montreal Canadiens (Sportsnet, FAN 590)

Monday, October 7, 7:00 p.m. vs. St. Louis Blues (TSN4, TSN 1050)

Thursday, October 10, 7:00 p.m. vs. Tampa Bay Lightning (Sportsnet Ontario, FAN 590)

Saturday, October 12, 7:00 p.m. at Detroit Red Wings (Sportsnet, TSN 1050)  



On John Tavares being named captain of the Maple Leafs:

Well, I mean, an unbelievable honour to be the captain of the Leafs. Darryl [Sittler] and Wendel [Clark] were in there after. You know, I don't care who you are, it's pretty special to say the least. He's the kind of man and he's the kind of leader, he's the kind of person that our guys look up to and does everything right every day. He's all about winning – he's not about John – he's about winning. He's a great example to all of us. When I ask him a question he doesn't think, 'Is this good for John?' He thinks, ‘Is this is good for the team?’ He's a man. So, I think it's great. I think it's great for Mitch [Marner] and [Auston Matthews] too as they grow in their leadership roles. Obviously, Morgan Rielly is a huge leader here and sets the tone with enthusiasm and work ethic as well. And, so, we're lucky. You know, Hyman and Muzzin are bigtime leaders on this team too and they're in our leadership group. We ideally will add more and more to that because it's important to have lots of guys all in. If you're going to have success, the Manager or the Coach or the President is not the leader. The players take control of the team, they set the accountability and that's how you win in the end. So, It took us a while to get to this point, but we're excited we're at this point.

On tonight as an important night for the team:

There's no question about it. I know we all – we're in a hurry. You want instant gratification, that's society today. It's obviously Toronto and hockey. But the reality is you just keep plugging away and doing good things and good things happen. We're still going to have lots of moments this year where you wonder what the heck is going on. But just keep grinding, doing good things and that's what makes you better.

On tonight’s game:

Well, I thought it was a perfect start for them. You know, you come out, we're nervous, bang it in our net and then we get three power plays in a row and we're borderline dysfunctional, tense, couldn't move. We didn't skate. But I thought once we got through that down 1-0, I thought we played. I thought we played pretty good in exhibition at the end – not at the start but at the end. I like the fact that we had the puck a lot, we spent a lot of time in the offensive zone, we shoot it and get it back. We seemed to be working pretty hard. I was really impressed with the Kerfoot line tonight – Mikheyev and Moore and those guys look good. The more depth you have – everyone knows Matthews is good, I know that too – but it's those other guys that create depth that allow you to be better I think are important for us.

On Matthews’ performance tonight is indicative of what he wants to see from him:

Well, he's that kind of player, right? He has a chance to be generational player. So, now, what can you learn from John [Tavares]? You can learn John is working every day, working harder and winning every puck, working hard in practice. So, that's the challenge for our group. We have to get better; we all understand, we've laid it out very clearly where we've got to get better. We evaluated ourselves after exhibition and we'll continue to do that where we're going. Everybody knows what we've got to do to have success and, so, we talk about it on a daily basis and we're trying to work towards that. That, to me, isn't always going to go good but at least we've got a plan.

On what it says about Mikheyev that he can make an impact in his first NHL game:

Well, he's good is what it says, but he's way better than you've seen. He's just got to get comfortable and know what direction he's going and all that stuff. When he understands the language better and he's – don't get me wrong, he's smart, he understands good – but it's going so fast on the ice, talking to guys, it's hard for him. But I thought – he's an unbelievable penalty killer, boy, can he fly.

On if there are similarities between Nicklas Lidstrom and John Tavares:

Well, you know, I always hate comparing anyone to Nick Lidstrom. Seven-time Norris Trophy winner, one of the finest human beings you'll ever meet. John Tavares is his own person, does things his own way. He's incredible to be around because he makes you a better coach – not scared to tell you things, not shy, not scared tell the guys things. I don't know if he ever suffered from peer pressure in his life, but I'm sure he doesn't now. He does the right thing on a daily basis. Wants to be great, wants to get better. Good man. Good family man. Pretty impressive for us to have a guy like that. I think it helps the other guys become what they want to be too. We're all trying to get better each and every day and we're trying to become the people we want to be. That's a good example.

On the successful Coach’s Challenge in the second period:

[Jordan Bean] was on that. He just, right away he was talking. It was one of those ones where the linesman wasn’t in the way, which, lots of times that play the linesman is in the way and you can’t tell. So, obviously, that’s a big play in the game right there and an important play for us and those guys were on top of it. [Andrew Brewer] and Bean Bag got it right, which is important. We talked before. They went through it, obviously – they don't want to be under the gun so we went through. The challenges this year, you've got to know. You've flat out got to know. There's no pretending you know, you better not. So we talked about that. They were right.


On setting up Mikheyev for his first career NHL goal:

I think it’s incredible. I think all three of those guys who played their first game tonight got a point, I’m not sure if that’s ever happened before. For [Mikheyev] to get one there too, it’s pretty cool and something I’m sure he’ll never forget.

On what makes Tavares a good choice for captain:

I think with [Tavares] you know exactly what you’re going to get out of him every night. He’s such a professional, the way he prepares, the way that he plays the game. It’s something we can all get behind, something we can all learn from.  He’s got his head down and going in the right direction every time.

On what he learned playing with Matthews:

He's a gamebreaker. He’s one of those elite guys in the league that can change the whole momentum of the game and you saw it tonight. He’s a special player.


On being named an alternate captain this season:

It's a big honor. I think all four of us look at it as a big honour, big responsibility. So, I think, like we've been saying all along, there's lots of leaders in this room. We're just the guys that are wearing the letters.

On what makes Tavares a good leader for the team:

Well, he's worn it before, he knows what it's like and, you know, I guess, the responsibility that comes with it. He's just the guy that comes in every day and does his job and he's humble about it, works hard to be a good example for everybody.

On if he’s disappointed he wasn’t named captain:

No, I'm not disappointed. I mean, I'm happy. Happy to be wearing a letter in general. Just playing hockey with this team. We've got a special group. So, it's just been fun. Fun from training camp, and obviously, nice to get it going tonight.


On his feelings after his NHL debut:

I'm very happy today. I have my first NHL game; I've been working a long time for. I've waited for this moment my whole life.

On what it felt like to score his goal:

Relief. I don't believe it.

On if his family was in attendance tonight:

No, I have my girlfriend here. My parents are busy now and they have plans to come in November. I hope.

On what he did with the puck from his goal:

I took a picture. I called my Grandma and my Parents.

On playing in front of the crowd in Toronto:

Very great. Great atmosphere, great fans, great organization. This is my first time playing with this many people. Great.

On the biggest challenge of moving to Toronto:

The language because I'm learning English with my teacher in Russia at home. The mentality I bring because in Russia we have a difference. What's important for me, I don't know why – I like soup, I don't know why you don't eat soup. My girlfriend is cooking and I'm very happy when I eat.


On being named an alternate captain:

It’s great, but there’s more important things going on. There’s guys in this room who don’t wear letters that are leaders and expected to be a part of that leadership group and take responsibility for certain things. It is what it is. There’s a big picture.

On John Tavares being named captain:

Johnny’s the perfect guy for the job. You know we’ve talked about it – a poised, confident person who carries himself like a true professional and comes to work every day. Like I said, the perfect guy for it.

On the way the team played tonight:

I thought it was good. Obviously, not the start we wanted but I thought we bounced back and played hard and I thought there were periods of the game where we really controlled it. It’s a good first night.


On the team using his family to tell him he was being named captain: 

I’ll never forget that moment. It’s been an amazing three weeks. To see (his son Jace) there with (a jersey with a “C”) on, to be the one to tell me, was very emotional and really, really special. It’s hard to really describe to you.

On how hard it was to keep the secret:

I think, just excited to experience the moment and get out there and everyone hearing it for the first time, and just the way the organization did it. From how I found out, like I said, to the last couple days, just preparing. It certainly was nice to get it out there and I think the way we did it was really special. A great way to do it and to follow it up with the way we played just made it that much better.

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