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Practice intensifies for Sens as playoffs close in

Friday, 02.02.2007 / 12:00 AM / News
Ottawa Senators
Senators centre Jason Spezza expects a close game against Toronto tomorrow.

by Todd Anderson

The Ottawa Senators held another high-intensity practice today at Bell Sensplex in Ottawa in preparation for their match against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place tomorrow.

Forward Antoine Vermette says the team has picked up the effort level now that the playoffs seem to be just around the corner.

"We know we have a bigger load ahead and we know how important these upcoming games are," Vermette said after practice today. "My dad used to say to me when I was younger that a good practice means a good game. I think it's the other way, too. If you have bad habits in practice, they get into games. It's important that you bring energy and focus every time you step on the ice."

Carrying a 4-1-0 season-series lead over the Maple Leafs into tomorrow's match, the Senators know the Leafs have been on a roll lately. Toronto has won three consecutive games and five of their last six.

"They're playing much better, and we're excited about playing them," forward Mike Fisher said. "This is a division game so you want to make a statement."

Centre Jason Spezza said battling against the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto - Ottawa faces the two rivals a combined six more times this season - will be exciting.

"Any time Canadian teams fight for the playoffs, it's exciting. It should be a pretty good game tomorrow."

Senators goaltender Ray Emery will start in goal against Toronto in search of his 23rd victory, which would match his career high set last season.

Kilrea reaches 2,000
Ottawa 67's head coach Brian Kilrea will coach his 2,000th career Ontario Hockey League game tonight against the Toronto St. Michael's Majors, a team owned by Senators and Scotiabank Place owner Eugene Melnyk.

Into his 30th season, Kilrea is the winningest coach in major junior hockey history.

The 67's and Majors will hold a rematch before the Senators-Leafs game at Scotiabank Place on Saturday, starting at 2 p.m. Click here to buy tickets.

STANDINGS

ATLANTIC DIVISION
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
3 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
4 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
5 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
6 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
7 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
8 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Karlsson 82 20 54 -15 74
J. Spezza 75 23 43 -26 66
K. Turris 82 26 32 22 58
C. MacArthur 79 24 31 12 55
B. Ryan 70 23 25 7 48
A. Hemsky 75 13 30 -15 43
M. Michalek 82 17 22 -25 39
M. Zibanejad 69 16 17 -15 33
M. Methot 75 6 17 0 23
P. Wiercioch 53 4 19 -1 23
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Anderson 25 16 8 .911 3.00
R. Lehner 12 15 6 .913 3.06
SENS ARMY FAN POLL