Last 10: Ottawa 4-4-2; Toronto 6-4-0
Season series: This is the first of five matchups this season between these Northeast Division rivals, who will play each other twice in the next week. The teams tied the Battle of Ontario last season, splitting the six-game season series.
The big story of this game is ultimately the injury of the top players on both teams. Toronto is without starting goaltender, James Reimer, 1st line winger Joffrey Lupul, the team’s 2nd leading scorer, Matt Frattin, as well as the team’s steadiest defenceman, Carl Gunnarsson. Ottawa is similarly hit by the injury bug. They are without Erik Karlsson and Jason Spezza; the Senators also are missing All-Star Milan Michalek (sprained knee), as well as Jared Cowan (hip surgery), Peter Regin (upper body) and Guillaume Latendresse (upper body)
Toronto will look to rebound against Ottawa after their abysmal showing against Carolina where they came out completely flat. Also of note, tonight’s game will honour the 1963 Stanley Cup Champions. Several players from the Leafs’ 1963 team will be honoured at Saturday’s game and will participate in the pregame ceremonial faceoff. Players expected to be in attendance include: George Armstrong, Johnny Bower, Dick Duff, Larry Hillman, Red Kelly, Dave Keon, John MacMillan, Bob Nevin, Bob Pulford and Eddie Shack.These long, drawn out ceremonies do nothing to help the Leaf’s issues that they have been having on home ice.
Who’s hot: Veteran Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar has three points in his last four games. Center Kyle Turris has four points in his last six games. Kadri four points in his last four games. Dion Phaneuf has four points during his current three-game point streak. Phil Kessel has seven points in his last five games.
van Riemsdyk – Bozak – Kessel
Kulemin – Grabovski – McClement
MacArthur – Kadri – Komarov
Brown – Steckel – Orr
Phaneuf – Holzer
Liles – Kostka
Fraser – Franson
And a little of this: