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Match Preview: Maple Leafs vs. Senators

by Chris Lund / Toronto Maple Leafs


Jonathan Bernier is expected to give James Reimer a breather after the latter put up a sparkling 49 save performance in a shootout loss on Saturday night. Bernier is 2-1-0 in his career against the Ottawa Senators with a 1.84 goals-against average and a .937 save percentage.

The Leafs are expected to have Peter Holland back in the lineup tonight. Holland, who has missed the last 10 games with a lower-body injury, will likely replace Trevor Smith who was forced to leave last night's game in Boston with an upper-body injury. Holland has 11 goals and 23 points in 59 games this season.

Given the importance of every point to their playoff push, the Senators are expected to once again turn to Andrew Hammond in goal. The 'Hamburglar' has been one of the NHL's spectacular stories this season, posting a 17-1-1 record with a 1.86 goals-against average and .938 save percentage after injuries gave him the opportunity to be a regular in the League.

Beyond the crease, the Senators will likely ice the same lineup they have in their past four games since their last match in Toronto. They are 3-1-0 in that span.


The Leafs lost by a 2-1 score in the shootout on Saturday in Boston. They are 2-7-1 in their last 10.

Toronto is 21-17-1 at home this season.

The Senators are in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race and are coming off of a 4-3 overtime win against Washington on Saturday. They are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

Ottawa is 18-13-7 away from home ice this season.


Last Saturday Garrett Gamble energized the Leafs and Tyler Bozak filled the highlight reel with a four point night that included a hat trick as the Leafs topped the Sens by a 4-3 score in overtime. Eric Brewer had the game winning goal, his first marker as a Leaf. James Reimer outduelled Craig Anderson in goal to earn the win.

The Leafs are 2-2-0 against Ottawa this season.


Mika Zibanejad

Zibanejad, now 21-years-old, was earmarked as a potential breakout candidate heading into this season and has delivered. He has cemented himself as a top-six forward for the Senators and hit the 20 goal plateau for the first time in his career on Saturday night.

As a big centre who skates the middle of the ice well and plays all three zones, Zibanejad is a handful for his counterparts. He has the physical ability to win puck battles on either side of the puck and has the offensive skill to be a concern whenever he is on the ice. His big shot requires attention from his markers but if they get too close he has the ability to find the open teammate.

Expect Zibanejad to get a lot of attention from Leafs checkers in an effort to close down both he and linemate Bobby Ryan. The young centeman has seven points in 12 career games against the Leafs.


Here's how the Leafs and Senators are expected to line up tonight...

Toronto Maple Leafs


21 van Riemsdyk - 42 Bozak - 81 Kessel

15 Lindstrom - 43 Kadri - 18 Panik

47 Komarov - 24 Holland - 19 Lupul

20 Booth - 22 Sill - 37 Bailey


2 Brewer - 3 Phaneuf

51 Gardiner - 44 Rielly

57 MacWilliam - 33 Erixon


45 Bernier

34 Reimer

Ottawa Senators


15 Smith - 93 Zibanejad - 6 Ryan

16 MacArthur - 7 Turris - 61 Stone

22 Condra - 44 Pageau - 27 Lazar

68 Hoffman - 17 Legwand - 90 Chiasson


3 Methot - 65 Karlsson

46 Wiercioch - 5 Ceci

74 Borowiecki - 62 Gryba


30 Hammond

41 Anderson

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