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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 Toronto victory.

Combat desperation

If Boston taught us anything on Saturday night, we know teams that are desperate for points are going to bring it. The Bruins peppered 50 shots towards James Reimer on Saturday and Ottawa has the ability to do the same. The Sens are playing the back half of a back-to-back game, but Ottawa will be on pure adrenaline. Ottawa is three points back of Boston for the final wild card spot with four games to play.

He’s back

Yes, Andrew Hammond finally lost a game in regulation. But since his return from injury, the ‘Hamburglar’ has won three consecutive games, improving his record to 17-1-1. The Leafs must pepper Hammond with shots. He has struggled when very busy. Hammond was out of the lineup the last meeting between these teams, a 4-3 win for Toronto.

Negate Erik Karlsson

In addition to his defensive ability, the Senators captain has been an absolute dagger to the Maple Leafs. Karlsson has three goals and four assists in his last five meetings against Toronto, dating back to last season. Karlsson has scored a point in all five of those contests. If the Sens are going to make it to the post-season, it’ll be on the back of their top defenceman.

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