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At the Rink blog

Senators not taking battered Maple Leafs lightly

Saturday, 12.07.2013 / 2:03 PM

By Sean Farrell - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Senators not taking battered Maple Leafs lightly

OTTAWA -- Ottawa Senators captain Jason Spezza said he expects the Toronto Maple Leafs to compete through their injuries with the Battle of Ontario set to resume Saturday at Canadian Tire Centre.

The Maple Leafs, who did not hold a morning skate, put center Tyler Bozak on long-term injured reserve earlier in the week because of an oblique strain he suffered Tuesday in a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks that ran their losing streak to five.

Toronto, which snapped its skid Thursday with a 3-2 overtime win against the Dallas Stars, was already missing center Dave Bolland, who has been sidelined since Nov. 2 with an ankle injury.

"We know that they've had injuries, but if you look at us the last couple of years, we've had lots of injuries and managed to play well," Spezza said after Ottawa held an optional skate Saturday. "Injuries can be an opportunity for other guys to step up, so you don't take any team lightly. It doesn't matter who they are or who's hurt, there are some good hockey players on both teams and you don't take anybody for granted, or take anybody lighter."

Maple Leafs forward Joffrey Lupul may be able to return from a groin injury that has sidelined him for the past five games this weekend, either here or at home Sunday against the Boston Bruins.

Friday, Toronto recalled defenseman John-Michael Liles from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League. He is expected to make his season debut against the Senators.

Craig Anderson will start in goal for Ottawa, which lost 3-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday. Robin Lehner stopped 19 of 22 shots for the Senators, who split their two-game trip to Florida.

Anderson, who made 32 saves Tuesday in a 4-2 win against the Florida Panthers, will make his fourth start in six games. Prior to that, he sat out three of four.

"It's part of the business," Anderson said. "I've played a long time in this League and I've had to earn a lot of ice time. Every player earns their ice time, so it's one of those things where when I get in the net and if I do my job, I'll start to earn my ice time."

Senators coach Paul MacLean said he will make game-time decisions about his lineup depending on whether or not Matt Kassian plays.

Here are the projected lineups for the Maple Leafs and Senators:

MAPLE LEAFS

James van RiemsdykNazem KadriPhil Kessel

Mason RaymondTrevor SmithDavid Clarkson

Nikolai Kulemin - Jay McClementCarter Ashton

Frazer McLarenPeter HollandJerry D'Amigo

Carl GunnarssonDion Phaneuf

Jake GardinerCody Franson

Mark Fraser - John-Michael Liles

James Reimer

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Morgan Rielly, Paul Ranger

Injured: Tyler Bozak (oblique strain), Colton Orr (elbow), Dave Bolland (ankle), Joffrey Lupul (groin)

SENATORS

Clarke MacArthur - Jason Spezza - Erik Condra

Mike Hoffman - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan

Milan Michalek - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Matt Kassian - Mika Zibanejad - Colin Greening

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Chris Phillips - Joe Corvo

Jared Cowen - Patrick Wiercioch

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Eric Gryba, Cory Conacher

Quote of the Day

Just the feel for the direction they were headed and what they're trying to do, it just felt that this is a really good thing for this organization. They've got the pieces. We can put something together and go on a run or two and be together for a while, and I'm really excited about that opportunity. The team we have here has an opportunity to win, and that's the most attractive thing.

— Washington defenseman Matt Niskanen on why he decided to sign with the Capitals