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Senators-Maple Leafs Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Senators-Maple Leafs Preview
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

It's hard to figure where the Ottawa Senators have been more dominant - overall this season, or in recent years against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The Senators, who lead the NHL with 30 points, look to continue both runs Saturday when the provincial rivals meet at Toronto's Air Canada Centre.

Ottawa (15-2-0) is also the NHL's last remaining team that is unbeaten on the road, where it's 5-0-0 entering a stretch of playing nine of its next 13 away from home. Every other team in the league has at least two road losses.

The Senators, who lost to Anaheim in the Stanley Cup finals last season, have also gone 15-2-2 against the Leafs (7-8-5) since the start of the 2005-06 season - including three wins against them so far this season.

The most recent meeting was a 5-1 Ottawa home win Nov. 6, a game in which the Senators chased Toronto goalie Vesa Toskala.

"They really took the game away from us right away and after that it was just a matter of them coasting right through the rest of the hockey game," Toronto center Kyle Wellwood said that night.

Leafs goalie Andrew Raycroft has started three of Toronto's four games since that loss, but was lit up for five goals on 27 shots Thursday in a 5-2 loss to his former team, the Boston Bruins. It was Toronto's third straight defeat after a shootout loss to the New York Rangers and an overtime loss to Montreal.

"We didn't play well, that's for sure. We didn't play a full 60 minutes," Toronto center Matt Stajan said. "They scored on their chances. We had a few miscues on their goals and it just wasn't acceptable. We just weren't good enough. We've got to play better than that, there's no doubt about it."

They'll especially have to against Ottawa, which is among the league's top teams in goals scored and goals allowed per game. The Senators have scored three or more goals in 14 of 17 games this season.

As if they needed any more help, they got forward Jason Spezza back in Thursday's 3-2 win over Buffalo after he missed six games with a groin injury. Spezza has 35 points in 24 career games against Toronto - his most against any team.

Ottawa has won 10 of its last 11, and has rebounded from last week's 4-1 home loss to Washington with victories over Montreal and Buffalo. The Senators beat the Sabres behind captain Daniel Alfredsson, who scored two goals in his 800th career regular-season game.

"I got a great response from the crowd," Alfredsson said. "I really appreciated that and obviously it's fun when you can win games when you get to an even number like that."

Goalie Martin Gerber also notched his league-leading 12th win in that game and has lost just once this season. Gerber has played the bulk of the minutes in favor of 2006-07 playoff starter Ray Emery, who missed the season's first eight games after wrist surgery and hasn't played since the loss to Washington.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 03 '08 OTT 8 at TOR 2 C. Bass
Mar 22 '08 TOR 5 at OTT 4 M. Stajan
Feb 25 '08 TOR 5 at OTT 0 M. Sundin
Feb 02 '08 OTT 2 at TOR 4 C. Colaiacovo
Nov 17 '07 OTT 0 at TOR 3 D. Tucker
Nov 06 '07 TOR 1 at OTT 5 P. Eaves
Oct 04 '07 TOR 2 at OTT 3 D. Alfredsson
Oct 03 '07 OTT 4 at TOR 3 - OT D. Heatley