Senators, Leafs set to resume 'Battle of Ontario'
Tuesday, 01.17.2012 / 1:23 AM
SENATORS (25-16-6) AT MAPLE LEAFS (22-17-5)
— SNET-E, TVA, SNET-O
Last 10 —
Ottawa 8-1-1, Toronto 5-4-1.
— These Northeast Division rivals have already faced off three times this season, with Ottawa winning two of those three contests. Tuesday's matchup will be the fourth of a six-game season series. The Senators prevailed 5-2 in the last meeting on Nov. 12.
— Both teams will be gunning to prevail in this proverbial "four-point game" in Tuesday's game. The Maple Leafs can use the points to gain some ground in the division standings after dropping back-to-back games. They're just one point out of eighth place in the Eastern Conference.
— The Senators saw a four-game winning streak end with a 2-0 loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Monday night. Ottawa has won six of eight games so far in the month of January, but the blanking by the Jets was a tough loss for the streaking Sens. It was the first time this season that the Senators were shut out.
made 33 saves in the loss and has been a big part of the Senators recent success. He was named the league's third star of the week after going 3-0 with a .970 save percentage, including his first shutout of the season last week.
"He's probably been our most important player for the last 10 games or so," Erik Karlsson
told the Senators' official website. "(Anderson) has been bailing us out a lot, especially early in the games.”
The Senators are ready to quickly forget Monday's loss as they hit the road for a six-game stretch that begins in Toronto.
Maple Leafs —
The Maple Leafs opened January with a four-game win streak that was snapped with two losses in a row over the weekend, including a 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Saturday night. Prior to the loss — only the second time the Leafs were shut out this season — the Leafs had won five straight at home.
"We were just, it seemed all night, about half a foot behind," Maple Leafs coach Ron Wilson said. "We needed our speed in order to compete with them. They didn't allow us to get some speed in some situations. But we just didn’t have the energy to play the game we needed to play."
The Maple Leafs' penalty kill unit has been hot lately, not allowing a power-play goal in six games. However, they rank 30th overall in penalty killing with just 74.2 per cent success this season.
The Maple Leafs hope to spark Phil Kessel
and Joffrey Lupul
, who are both experiencing season-long, three-game point droughts.
"(Saturday) was a little frustrating," Kessel said. "They played well and we didn't have anything really going. Our line has not been good for a couple games now. We're going to have to figure it out, I guess."
— Milan Michalek
has 16 road goals, the second-most in the league.
– Forwards Peter Regin
(shoulder) and Jesse Winchester
(concussion) remain on IR for Ottawa. … Colby Armstrong
(concussion) and John-Michael Liles
(concussion) both skated on Monday and could possibly return to action as soon as next week. Centre Tyler Bozak
(shoulder) is slated to return tonight.
— James Reimer
will make his first start since Dec. 31. He lost seven of 11 starts in December (3-4-3), surrendering three or more on eight occasions. However, he is 3-0-1 in his career against the Sens with a 1.97 goals-against average and .929 save percentage ... Anderson is 8-1-1 with a 1.70 GAA and a shutout since Dec. 30, and is 5-1-0 with a 2.06 GAA lifetime in Toronto.
— "We're looking forward to (the six-game road trip). It's a great opportunity to get back and play. We're playing lots of games and we're going to get a chance to get right back in the saddle and get ready to go, and that's what we're going to do." — Sens coach Paul MacLean