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Bozak scores twice in Leafs' win

Monday, 09.19.2011 / 11:26 PM / Roundup

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Bozak scores twice in Leafs' win
Tyler Bozak had a pair of goals in the third period as the Toronto Maple Leafs opened the preseason with a 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre.
Tyler Bozak had a sizzling preseason debut Monday night.

Bozak had a pair of goals in the third period as the Toronto Maple Leafs opened the preseason with a 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators at the Air Canada Centre.

"It feels really good," Bozak said. "It's the first game, so we're not going to get ahead of ourselves. But I think our line did pretty well in the camp and those guys make it pretty easy on you in the offensive zone. All around, we're happy with the way we played."

Colby Armstrong opened the scoring for the Maple Leafs with a power-play goal in the first off a feed from Bozak. Carl Gunnarsson had the Leafs' second goal on another man advantage in the second.

Tyler Bozak opened up the Leafs preseason with two goals in a win over the Sens. (Photo: Getty Images)
Jared Cowen scored both goals for the Senators.

"For the most part, I thought it was a pretty good game," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. "There was a lot of things we liked about it. I thought we had a couple of self-inflicted wounds that could have been avoidable. We could have been better in our defensive zone."

Toronto opened the scoring at 5:30 of the first period. After taking a cross-ice pass from Bozak, Jake Gardiner sent a hard pass to Armstrong, who poked the puck past Ottawa goaltender Alex Auld.

Ottawa got on the board at 7:25 of the second, when newcomer Nikita Filatov found a wide open Cowen down the middle of the ice and Cowen's shot beat Jonas Gustavsson to the glove side.

But midway through the second, Toronto restored its lead when Gunnarsson fired the puck past Robin Lehner from the right point on a power play.

Bozak increased Toronto's lead just over five minutes into the third, when he skated in alone on Lehner and beat the Sens' goaltender with a low shot.

Ben Scrivens allowed one goal on the 14 shots for Toronto. The lone blemish was a soft shot by Cowen that appeared to take a deflection off Jake Gardiner in front.

Bozak's second came off a rebound in close on Lehner. Dion Phaneuf took a shot from the left side and Bozak put the rebound through Lehner's legs at 13:27 of the third.

"It felt good to get out there into real game action," Phaneuf said. "You can only scrimmage and you can only run summer hockey practice for so long. It gets kind of repetitive. It was really good to get back. I thought we played well."

Game 1: Preds 5, Panthers 3 | Game 2: Panthers 4, Preds 3

The preseason started in historic fashion Monday, with Florida hosting Nashville for a doubleheader.

Nashville won the first game -- which started at 3 p.m. ET. Nearly seven hours later, Florida got its revenge in the nightcap.

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"I think it's a neat idea," said Panthers forward Steven Reinprecht, who had an assist on Florida's first goal of the afternoon game. "And it's definitely created a buzz. I know there's a lot of talk about the doubleheader. And I think there's a lot of buzz with all the new guys we brought in and everything. So it's nice to be able to showcase most guys in one day. Pretty neat idea."

The Panthers called it "Hockey Day in South Florida," with autograph sessions preceding both games.

"I'm staying for both games," retiree Donald Miller, a South Florida transplant from the Buffalo, N.Y., area said early in the afternoon contest. "It's good to be cold again."

The final numbers for the day: 15 goals, 110 shots, 25 penalties, and one fight.

"It's good for the fans," Florida's Matt Cullen said. "And good for the players, too."

Those Florida fans who did show up got a look at the franchise's future. Jonathan Huberdeau -- the No. 3 overall pick in this year's draft -- had a goal and an assist in the nightcap.

"It's just the beginning," Huberdeau said. "I've got to work hard to show I want to make the team. ... It's a good start."

Nashville coach Barry Trotz said Monday's format actually was advantageous for his team's scouts and others involved in deciding which players will go where within the organization.

"I like this better because it ups the ante a little bit, in the sense there's a higher quality of player," Trotz said. "You have the rookie camp and those rookie games and it's peers against peers for the most part. ... This is a step up from that - not NHL quite yet, because it's a mixture of guys. But it forces you to up your ante and your game a little bit and play with pride because you're representing the organization and the sweater."

Florida will play a preseason doubleheader at Nashville next season.

Sabres 3, Hurricanes 1

In the preseason opener for both teams, Buffalo forward Nathan Gerbe found the back of the net early in the third period to lead the Sabres past Carolina at the First Niagara Center.

Gerbe, who added two assists, scored on a redirection from between the circles off a feed from Paul Gaustad, who beat Justin Peters in the first minute of the third to erase a 1-0 deficit. Patrick Kaleta iced the victory with an empty-net goal.

"We have a great attitude in here about the team, but it comes down to competing and that's a good thing," Gaustad said as he attempts to nail down a spot on the Sabres' roster. "So if they're going to push me, I'm going to push them back."

Nathan Gerbe
Center - BUF
GOALS: 16 | ASST: 15 | PTS: 31
SOG: 171 | +/-: 11
Brandon Sutter scored 23 seconds into the second period on a backhander from the slot. Brian Boucher stopped all 14 shots he faced in two periods before Peters allowed both Buffalo goals in the final 20 minutes.

"We stopped moving our feet," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "As soon as we did that, we started turning pucks over. But for me, (there was) a lot more good than bad in that game. I liked the way all the defensemen played. I was pretty pleased."

Drew MacIntyre got the starting not between the pipes for Buffalo and stopped nine of 10 shots. Jhonas Enroth stopped all 11 shots he faced after entering the game midway through the second period.

"I really, really liked our first two periods," Maurice said. "We were making some plays. In the second period, we had a real good stretch of domination there. I liked that an awful lot." 

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
Quote of the Day

I might have blacked out. I was pretty pumped.

— New Jersey Devils rookie goalie Keith Kinkaid on his first NHL win Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning