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Leafs try to extend home streak to six vs. Senators

by Mike G. Morreale

SENATORS (24-20-10) at MAPLE LEAFS (29-21-6)


Last 10: Ottawa 5-2-3; Toronto 8-1-1

Season series: This is the third of four games between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators. The Maple Leafs won the past two matchups via a shootout. James van Riemsdyk and Mason Raymond scored in the tiebreaker on Dec. 7 to give Toronto a 4-3 victory. Van Riemsdyk also had a goal and two assists in regulation.

Big story: Van Riemsdyk has established a career high in goals (22) and points (43) through 54 games this season. He had a goal and an assist and was named the game's second star in a 6-3 victory against the Florida Panthers on Thursday at Air Canada Centre. His previous high of 21 goals and 40 points was set in his second NHL season with the Philadelphia Flyers (2010-11).

"I was always confident in myself and I think I proved it in Philly," van Riemsdyk told "I showed when I had the opportunity to play a lot, play in those key situations, that I was able to be a productive player. I've been able to get more of those opportunities since coming [to Toronto]. For me, I think it was good to start somewhere else, go to a place where I was going to get a chance to show what I can do."

Team Scope:

Senators: Ottawa begins a three-game road swing in Toronto after scoring a 5-3 victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday at Canadian Tire Centre. Craig Anderson made 35 saves for the Senators, winners of two straight. Ottawa finished the month of January with a 7-2-3 record.

The Senators returned from a 2-1-1 road trip for their only appearance at home in a stretch of eight games. Kyle Turris had a goal and an assist, Jason Spezza had two assists on Thursday.

"I thought we were a very good team for the [first] two periods," coach Paul MacLean said. "We got a 5-1 lead early in the third, then I think we took our foot off the gas just a little bit, gave them some momentum with the shorthanded goal, but for the most part I thought as far as playing at home, the first and second period were the most consistent we've been in a long time.

"It gets us over .500 at home, and we keep on winning."

Maple Leafs: The Leafs extended their win streak on home ice to five games on Thursday. Nazem Kadri had three assists as the hosts rallied from a 2-0 deficit with five unanswered goals. Nikolai Kulemin scored four minutes into the third period to give Toronto a 4-2 advantage. Kadri, the game's first star, reached 100 assists for his career. He's currently riding a four-game point streak (two goals, five assists).

"It's a great achievement for myself, but hopefully there's a lot more to come,'' Kadri said. "You got to think to yourself when the points are coming easy, it's just not all about that, you got to make sure you're good in your D zone, bearing down on faceoffs and just allow the coaching staff to put you on the ice in those crucial situations.''

Who's hot: Turris has four goals and five points in the past five games. … Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier, who made 40 saves in a victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday and 35 in a 6-3 win against the Panthers on Thursday, is 7-1-2 when facing 40 or more shots this season.

Injury report: Toronto forwards David Clarkson (elbow) and David Bolland (ankle) are questionable. Center Trevor Smith (hand) is out. … Ottawa forward Mark Stone is day-to-day with an undisclosed injury and Chris Phillips (lower body) is questionable.

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