TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT.
The Ottawa Senators have clinched the Northeast Division title and will be no worse than the No. 2 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
But they can take another step closer to being the top seed in the East and eliminate their provincial rivals from the playoff race by completing a season sweep of the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Ottawa clinched its second Northeast title in three seasons with Thursday's 5-4 overtime loss to Florida. Daniel Alfredsson gave the Senators the needed point to clinch the title by scoring the game-tying goal with two seconds to play in regulation.
Despite the division title, the Senators weren't in a celebratory mood, especially after going 1-for-9 on the power play and failing to convert on two 5-on-3 situations in the first period while falling behind 2-0.
"It's disappointing, especially when you come back the way we did," Senators center Mike Fisher said. "We know we can play better."
Ottawa is tied with Carolina for first in the East with two games to play.
Backup Mike Morrison, who allowed five goals on 35 shots Thursday, likely will start again as Ray Emery rests a sore hip. With the status of No. 1 goaltender Dominik Hasek still uncertain heading into the playoffs, Morrison may start both of Ottawa's remaining games.
Senators right wing Martin Havlat is expected to play for the first time since injuring his right shoulder on Nov. 29. Havlat, who likely would be on the second line, has nine goals and five assists in 16 games this season.
Dany Heatley, who needs two goals to increase his single-season team record to 50, became the first Senator to reach 100 points in a season with two assists on Thursday.
The Maple Leafs are on the verge of missing the postseason for the first time since 1998 despite going 7-0-2 in their last nine games. Coach Pat Quinn guaranteed his team, in 10th place in the East, will be in the playoffs following Thursday's 4-3 win over the New York Islanders.
"(I) don't even think about that part," Quinn said when asked if the Leafs would be the best-playing team to miss the postseason. "We're going to make it."
Matt Stajan scored the game-winning goal for the Leafs, whose inability to defeat the Senators may be the primary reason they fail to make the postseason. Toronto has taken just two of 14 possible points from Ottawa and has been outscored 38-14 in losing all seven meetings.
Toronto center Mats Sundin, who has seven goals in his last four games, has 11 goals and eight assists in a 10-game point streak.
STANDINGS: Senators - 111 points, 1st place, Northeast Division. Maple Leafs - 86 points, 4th place, 25 PB, Northeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Heatley, 48 goals and 100 points; Jason Spezza, 69 assists; Chris Neil, 190 PIM. Maple Leafs - Sundin, 28 goals and 72 points; Tomas Kaberle, 55 assists; Bryan McCabe, 114 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Senators - Power play: 20.8 percent (100 for 480), 4th in NHL. Penalty killing: 85.0 percent (398 for 468), 4th. Maple Leafs - Power play: 21.3 percent (103 for 483), 2nd. Penalty killing: 79.9 percent (381 for 477), 24th.
GOALTENDERS: Senators - Emery (22-10-4, 3 SO, 2.81 GAA); Morrison (11-4-3, 2.95). Maple Leafs - Jean-Sebastien Aubin (7-0-2, 1, 2.26); Mikael Tellqvist (10-10-2, 2, 3.00).
SEASON SERIES: Senators, 7-0.
LAST MEETING: March 4; Senators, 4-2. At Toronto, Heatley snapped a 2-2 tie with a goal 4:24 into the third period and Emery turned aside 22 shots.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 22-11-6 on the road; Maple Leafs - 24-12-3 at home.
|Apr 15 '06||OTT 1 at TOR 5||M. Stajan|
|Mar 04 '06||OTT 4 at TOR 2||D. Heatley|
|Jan 23 '06||TOR 3 at OTT 4||B. Smolinski|
|Jan 21 '06||TOR 0 at OTT 7||D. Alfredsson|
|Dec 17 '05||TOR 2 at OTT 8||W. Redden|
|Oct 29 '05||OTT 8 at TOR 0||M. Fisher|
|Oct 10 '05||TOR 5 at OTT 6 - SO||D. Heatley|
|Oct 05 '05||OTT 3 at TOR 2 - SO||D. Alfredsson|