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Babcock goes for first win, Maple Leafs host Senators

by Mike Brophy

SENATORS (1-0-0) at MAPLE LEAFS (0-2-0)


TORONTO -- The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to get coach Mike Babcock his first victory of the season when they host the Ottawa Senators at Air Canada Centre on Saturday.

The Maple Leafs (0-2-0), who lost 3-1 to the Montreal Canadiens in their season-opener Wednesday and 4-0 against the Detroit Red Wings on Friday, have won six consecutive home games against the Senators.

Babcock said he was not pleased with the effort in Detroit.

"The bottom line is [Friday] didn't go the way we wanted," Babcock said. "We played a low-event game, which is how I think we have to play. We can't give up a ton of scoring chances. The ones we did give up they scored on. There was 8:25 left in the second period and we were down 4-0 and the shots were 11-11. You ask yourself, 'Now what are we going to do?'"

Babcock pulled starting goalie Jonathan Bernier, who also lost Wednesdsay, and replaced him with James Reimer, who will start against the Senators.

"I put Reims [Reimer] in to give him a chance to get ready for tonight," Babcock said. "We need a big night out of Reims and then we have to play a good game. I think when we play with structure we don't look bad and when we don't we don't look very good."

Reimer, who had his first NHL victory against Ottawa on Jan. 1, 2011, said he is anxious to get his first start of the season.

"It's another game … another chance … another opportunity," Reimer said. "That's the beautiful thing about sports. I'm hoping to have a good one tonight."

Reimer said playing Friday will help him prepare for the game.

"Any touches you get, they count," Reimer said. "I thought I went in there and held my own for the most part so hopefully that translates into a good game tonight."

The Senators (1-0-0) opened the season with a 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday. Second-year left wing Curtis Lazar was promoted to the second line with center Mika Zibanejad and right wing Bobby Ryan.

The 28-year-old Ryan, playing in his ninth NHL season, said it takes time to get used to new linemates. But he said he has high hopes for his new line.

"We really didn't get a whole lot of reps together in the preseason so it took me some time to figure out where Curtis likes to be," Ryan said. "We made some mistakes in the first period but I think we settled in nicely and I was able to get him the puck so he could utilize his speed through the neutral zone. I think we'll get comfortable soon."

Ryan said he expects a tough game from the Maple Leafs.

"They give us fits in this building," he said. "Even when we were on the roll last year we came in and had two very strong games against them and only came out with half the points. We know they're going to be flying tonight."

Here are the projected lineups:


Mike Hoffman - Kyle Turris - Mark Stone

Curtis Lazar - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan

Clarke MacArthur - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Milan Michalek

Alex Chiasson - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Jared Cowen - Mark Borowiecki

Craig Anderson

Matthew O'Connor

Injured: Andrew Hammond (groin), Chris Phillips (back)

Scratched: Chris Wideman, Shane Prince


James van Riemsdyk - Nazem Kadri - Brad Boyes

Shawn Matthias - Tyler Bozak - Joffrey Lupul

Leo Komarov - Peter Holland - Michael Grabner

Daniel Winnik - Nick SpalingPA Parenteau

Matt Hunwick - Dion Phaneuf

Roman Polak - Morgan Rielly

Jake Gardiner - Scott Harrington

James Reimer

Jonathan Bernier

Injured: Stephane Robidas (knee)

Scratched: Frank Corrado, Mark Arcobello, Martin Marincin

Status report: Babcock suggested he likely would insert Polak and Grabner into the Maple Leafs lineup.

Who's hot: Turris had two goals in the Senators' 3-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Wednesday. His first goal, 30 seconds into the game, was the fastest season-opening goal in Senators history. … Stone and Hoffman each had two assists. … Spaling was 9-for-12 on faceoffs against the Red Wings on Friday. … Reimer made 12 saves on 13 shots in relief of Bernier on Friday.

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