Last 10: Toronto 4-2-4; Ottawa 7-1-2
The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking to earn at least a point in an eighth straight game Saturday night as they visit the Ottawa Senators, who have been on a decent run of their own.
In what is the most meaningful “Battle of Ontario” in the last few years, it’s more than just pride on the line; it’s home-ice advantage and two teams sizing each other up as potential first-round matchups. Toronto is trying on their new look as a playoff team for the first time in 8 years and Ottawa is revelling in their depth as a team that has been able to stave off huge injuries to Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Chris Anderson with seemingly no drop-off in performance.
Ottawa has beefed up with with new addition of Matt Kassian since the teams last met. As teams have started moving back to dressing an enforcer (or 3, in Toronto’s case) Ottawa will want to make sure they have the physical intimidation side of the game covered off. Chris Neil has a lower body injury and will be a game time decision.
Season series: Fourth of five meetings between these Northeast Division rivals. Toronto currently has a 2-1 edge, with the home team winning each game.
Who’s hot: Lupul now has a five-game goal streak for the Maple Leafs, scoring seven times in that span. Phaneuf has goals in consecutive games and comes off a three-point effort Thursday. Tyler Bozak has a goal and four assists in the past two games. … Colin Greening has goals in consecutive games for the Senators. Zibanejad has five assists in his past four games. Bishop has won four straight starts.