The Binghamton Ottawa Senators travel down the 401 to visit provincial rival Toronto Maple Leafs in a tilt that has more implications for the Leafs than it does the Senators. The Leafs, despite recent roster moves are within 8 points of the playoffs. A win in this game is vital for their playoff aspirations. The Leafs have won their last 2 games, while Ottawa has dropped its last two matchups.
Toronto sensation James Reimer will likely get the start, as Toronto doesn’t have many other options due to numerous recent injurues in goal. Reimer has been tagged with the nickname “Optimus Reim” after coming into the lineup in late December and going 8-4-1 since his callup. Ottawa will likely go with newly acquired Craig Anderson in between the pipes as he arrived midway through the first period of last night’s game.
This game marks the fifth matchup of the season, with the teams having split the series 2-2 so far. The Leafs soundly defeated the Senators 5-1 on New Years Day, the last time the clubs met.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Ottawa Senators –
Craig Anderson, G – Anderson is likely to make his first start for the Senators since being acquired from the Colorado Avalanche on Friday. The UFA to be looks to put a dreadful season in Colorado behind him and look forward to impressing Senators brass enough to earn a contract. Won 38 games for the Avalanche last season.
Toronto Maple Leafs-
Keith Aulie, D - Acquired last season as part of the Dion Phaneuf deal, Aulie brings his imposing size to Leafs lineup. Looks to be a big minute player now that ice time has opened up due to the recent departures of Francois Beauchemin and Thomas Kaberle. The 21-year-old rookie is still looking for his first NHL point, despite playing over 20 minutes in each game since his recall on Feb 10th.
LAST 5 GAMES
|PP||4/23 (17.4%)||2/20 (10.0%)|
THREE KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY
Motivation to Play Spoiler – The Leafs are actually fighting to get into a position to make the playoffs. Nothing would make the Senators feel better right now than spoiling their chances, or at least making it that much more difficult.
Making a Good First Impression - Anderson is playing for a contract and wants to show the Senators, and the entire league, that he is the real deal. This quest begins tonight.
Play a Full 60 - Last night was a gritty effort for 50 minutes, and then a breakdown in the last 10 cost them the game. With less talent than the opposition on most nights, a 60 minute effort is essential and anything less will be a loss.
Check back here at SenShot for a complete post-game wrap-up.
You can follow me on Twitter @alfieisgod.
You can find the SENSHOT facebook page HERE