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Keys to the Game: Maple Leafs vs. Senators

by David Alter / Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs host the Ottawa Senators tonight at Air Canada Centre. Here are three keys to a win.

Fend off desperation

Much like the Panthers on Thursday, the Senators are in the thick of an intense battle for an Eastern Conference wild card playoff spot. The Hamburglar’s magical run was derailed against the Senators on Thursday and Saturday’s game will surely define their fate, hoping to avoid back-to-back regulation losses since February 5-7. Ottawa will be flying to start the game. The Leafs have to show an ability to fend them off and get off to an excellent start.

Ignite Power Play

The Maple Leafs have cashed in on just one of their last 25 power plays. That represents a success rate of 4%. The Senators went through Thursday’s game without being shorthanded once. Their PK unit could be rusty and it could be what the Leafs need to get that element of their game back.

Attack the net and Kadri’s return

The Senators goaltending situation is murky at best with injuries abound to all goaltenders, it’s expected there will be a lack of NHL experience in goal for Ottawa tonight. The Leafs can use this to their advantage by attacking the net and getting positioned in the slot. It’s been difficult for Toronto lately, but getting into the blue paint will lead to some goals. Nazem Kadri returns after serving a four-game suspension. He scored a goal in his last meeting against the Sens on January 21.

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