Tuesday, January 17th, 2012
Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200
The Ottawa Senators hit a speed bump last night in a shutout loss to the Winnipeg Jets, and they will have some fresh faces joining them in Toronto tonight, and probably will tag along for the rest of the 5 game trip out West. Forward Andre Petersson and defenseman Mark Borowiecki were called up Tuesday morning, with Brian Lee left behind in Ottawa after getting hurt earlier this past week. The new guys will not play tonight however, as there will be no lineup changes.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have dropped two in a row (to the Sabres and the Rangers), but have been off since being shut out by Martin Biron on Saturday night. It is expected that Tyler Bozak, Jake Gardiner and James Reimer will be playing tonight after not playing on Saturday. Reimer has been pushed by Jonas Gustavsson for the #1 job in the Leafs net as of late, but Reimer will get the start tonight.
This game will be the 4th of 6 installments of the Battle of Ontario this season. Ottawa has won 2 straight against the Maple Leafs, who won the first meeting of the season. Toronto currently sits one point out of 8th place in the East, a far cry from the 2nd place that they held down the last time the clubs met.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Craig Anderson, G (OTT) – Anderson has been one of the NHL’s best players in January, earning a third star and a first star of the week this month. He will be making back to back starts for the 6th time this season, and he has gone 3-2 in the back half of those situations so far this season. He is a carrer 5-2 against tonight’s opponent.
James Reimer, G, (TOR) – Reimer gets his first start of 2012 after yielding the net to Gustavsson. He has lost his last three decisions and hasn’t tasted victory since Dec. 23rd. Reimer has never lost to Ottawa in regulation, sporting a career 3-0-1 record against the Sens.
3 KEYS TO A SENATORS VICTORY
1. Hit The Net -The Senators attempted 64 shots on goal against Winnipeg, but Chris Mason was only forced to make 25 saves. Twenty-three Senators shots were blocked and 16 more just simply failed to hit the target. The Senators need to have over 30, preferably 35 shots at minimum in order to win.
2. Embrace the Road – Even though Ottawa-Toronto games at SBP sometimes feel like a road game, it will be turned up a notch. Ottawa players need to enjoy being the villan and playing spoiler to oppoonents’ playoff hopes while strengthening their own.
3. Special Teams – In Toronto’s recent 4 game winning streak, they scored a power play goal each game. Also, the Leafs’ last ranked penalty kill unit has actually been a perfect 11 for 11 over their past 6 games. Ottawa’s PK has also been good lately, not allowing a goal in their last 4 games (13 for 13). Play at uneven strength might well decide this game.
Check back after the game for a full recap.
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