The Senators’ faithful were tossing hats at Zack Smith and Chris Kelly on Saturday night at Scotiabank Place.
But nobody was tipping their cap to Pascal Leclaire.
The club’s top goalie is lucky Smith and Kelly were there to save Leclaire’s bacon by registering hat tricks in an 8-5 victory over the Rangers in Ottawa’s final pre-season game.
While Jesse Winchester’s third-period winner and a goal by Jarkko Ruutu allowed 17,116 to go home happy, more than a few were shaking their heads at Leclaire, who gave up 13 goals in three exhibition games.
The Senators got another scare when wingers Milan Michalek and Chris Neil both left the game with lower-body injuries. Both should to be fine, so the only worry is goaltending heading into the season opener Friday at home against the Sabres.