Toronto Maple Leafs' Nick Ritchie (20) screens Ottawa Senators goaltender Anton Forsberg (31) as Senators' Nick Holden (5) defends during first period NHL hockey action in Ottawa on Thursday, October 14, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Senators beat Leafs 3-2 just hours after signing Tkachuk on a solid opening day

Senators beat Leafs 3-2 just hours after signing Tkachuk on a solid opening day

OTTAWA — The Ottawa Senators couldn’t have asked for a better start to the regular season.

Not only did they beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 3-2 on Thursday, they signed Brady Tkachuk to a seven-year contract extension hours earlier.

Tyler Ennis led the way with a goal and an assist, while Chris Tierney and Alex Formenton also scored.

Anton Forsberg, who stopped a career-high 46 shots, got the start for the Senators (1-0-0) as Matt Murray is dealing with a bad cold.

Peter Mrazek got the start for the Leafs (1-1-0), but was replaced by Jack Campbell to start the third as he sustained a groin injury on the final play of the second period.

Mrazek allowed three goals on 26 shots, while Campbell stopped all ten shots he faced.

Toronto opened its season Wednesday night with a 2-1 win over Montreal, but struggled to beat Forsberg until Jason Spezza, a former Ottawa captain, spearheaded the Leafs charge to finish the game with a goal and an assist, as did William Nylander.

Spezza made it 3-1 early in the third with a power-play goal as he beat Forsberg high, leading the goalie to throw his helmet down in frustration.

Toronto cut the lead to one, as Spezza made a perfect cross-ice pass to Nylander who beat Forsberg for a second power-play goal.

The Senators and their 15,159 fans caught a break when John Tavares was called for hooking Connor Brown in the final minute of play as he looked for the empty net.

Both teams had a number of chances through the second period, but neither were able to capitalize.

The Senators got off to a great start, and led 3-0 after the first period.

Nick Holden fired a puck at the net and it bounced in off Tierney all alone in front. Ennis made it 2-0 with a power-play goal as he tipped a Thomas Chabot point shot and Formenton wrapped things up with 0.6 seconds remaining as he fired a shot past Mrazek.

Notes: Scott Sabourin and Michael Del Zotto were a healthy scratch for the Senators…GM Pierre Dorion said Colin White underwent surgery Thursday and updated that Austin Watson is expected to miss the next four weeks (ankle), while Clark Bishop will likely be out seven to nine weeks (lower body). Toronto’s Timothy Liljegren was a healthy scratch.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 14, 2021.

Lisa Wallace, The Canadian Press