Ottawa Senators vs Toronto Maple Leafs

The battle of Ontario returns to Toronto as the Maple Leafs welcome their divisional rivals the Ottawa Senators to the Scotiabank Arena Wednesday night. The puck drops at 7:30PM EST and will be televised on Sportsnet and TVA. Radio broadcast can be heard via the Sportsnet radio - the FAN590.

How to Watch

Where: Scotiabank Arena - Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

When: Wednesday, February 6, 7:30 PM EST.

How (TV/Radio): Sportsnet, TVA | FAN590

Ottawa Senators (Away)

Head Coach: Guy Boucher {All-Time 188-178-46 OTT, TBL}

The Senators have left much to be desired this season as they head into a rivalry game against a team that unsurprisingly ranks above them in every important team statistic. Gone are the days of Daniel Alfredsson squaring up against Mats Sundin. Ottawa has gone 4-6-0 in their last ten games and are currently riding a four-game losing streak.They find themselves in last place in the Eastern conference.

Although the roster is essentially completely healthy, this rare occasion is overshadowed by the locker room chatter about the possible contract extensions or trades of top-six forwards Mark Stone and Matt Duschene. Forward Boddy Ryan’s name has also come up in trade rumors recently and all this talk must weigh heavily on coach Guy Boucher and the rest of his locker room.

If the Sens hope to win, it will all start from the backend. Ottawa needs to find a way to contain the Leafs’ offense, which will prove no easy feat. But if Ottawa can’t find a way to play a more solid defensive game, then they’ll be in for a long night. The Sens are ranked dead last in the league in both shots allowed and goals allowed. Although the Leafs allow quite a few shots of their own, Toronto ranks fifth in the league for goals scored.

Expected starting goalie Anders Nilsson, still fresh to the team from a trade involving the Vancouver Canucks, will most likely be standing on his head. Nilsson is 7-12-1 this season with a 2.87 goals against average and a .906 save percentage.

Toronto Maple Leafs (Home)

Head Coach: Mike Babcock {All-Time 676-397-19-155 TOR, DET, ANA}

The Leafs haven’t had the best run in their last ten games (4-5-1) but are coming off a strong showing against the always dangerous Pittsburgh Penguins. Toronto is 31-17-3 on the season - currently good enough for third place in the Eastern conference. They are only one point back of the second-place New York Islanders.

Like the Senators, Toronto will hit the ice with a full, healthy roster. This includes Frederik Andersen, who is expected to get the start for the Leafs. Andersen is 22-11-2 on the season with a 2.57 goals against average and .922 save percentage. He has one shutout. This healthy squad that includes Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares, and Patrick Marleau, amongst many others, is a dangerous challenge for any team in the league.

As stated earlier, the Leafs key weakness going into this matchup is how many shots they allow per game, averaging 32.6. If the Leafs blueline doesn’t tighten up, one goal from the last-place Ottawa Senators may be all they need to squeeze past Toronto. The Leafs will have to rely on their second-place faceoff-win percentage and third-place powerplay to keep possession of the puck away from the Senators and keep the shots they allow this game under control.

These two teams last met on October 6, 2018 where the Ottawa Senators picked up the upset victory with a final score of 5-3.

What's At Stake?

Bragging rights are always at stake in a rivalry game such as this - regardless of the standings.

The two points that come with a victory would also propel Toronto above the New York Islanders and into second place behind the Tampa Bay Lightning. A President’s Trophy victory is still well within reach for the young team from Toronto.

Questions to answer

What is the mental state of the Sens’ locker room and how much does that translate to their on-ice play?

Can goaltender Anders Nilsson makeup for lacklustre defense and hold strong in the crease against the high scoring Leafs or will this be his biggest challenge since moving to Ottawa?

Are the Leafs able to pick up two more points and continue to inch closer and closer to first place?

Ottawa Senators Injury Report

F Mikkel Boedker - day-to-day (undisclosed)

F Clarke MacArthur - IR (undisclosed)

F Marian Gaborik - IR (back)

Toronto Maple Leafs Injury Report

F Tyler Ennis - IR (fractured ankle)

D Nathan Horton - IR (back)

Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs Predictions and Odds

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a -280 favourite over the +248 Ottawa Senators.

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