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Preview: Senators at Maple Leafs

Ottawa goaltender Mike Condon makes 12th straight start; defenseman Martin Marincin returns for Toronto

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

SENATORS (24-15-4) at MAPLE LEAFS (21-14-8)

7 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV

 

Senators team scope

Ottawa Senators goaltender Mike Condon will make his 12th consecutive start. He is 6-4-1 during that stretch. "I think that he's been incredible for our team in the way that he's come in and really given us a chance every night," defenseman Dion Phaneuf said. "He's been very consistent in the way that he's played; he's made some big saves that have given us momentum. We owe a lot to Condon, he's been huge for our team." Defenseman Mark Borowiecki did not play Thursday in a 2-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets because of the flu, and left the Saturday morning skate early. Borowiecki will be a game-time decision, but Fredrik Claesson is expected to play instead. The Senators have won two straight and conclude their three-game road trip on Saturday. Ottawa, 4-1-0 in its past five games, has not lost since Jan. 14, the last time they faced the Toronto Maple Leafs, a 4-2 Senators defeat. Ottawa leads Toronto by two points for second place in the Atlantic Division; each team has played 43 games. "This game is against a divisional rival, it's a four-point game, it's obviously huge, but we're not thinking about that," forward Derick Brassard said. "We're just talking about how we can play better as a team and improve. We felt the last game against them we played a solid game, we just couldn't really get in front of their goalie and get some rebounds and dirty goals. That's something we're going to try to do tonight."

 

Maple Leafs team scope

Defenseman Martin Marincin will return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup after missing 17 games with a lower-body injury, and will play alongside Nikita Zaitsev. Marincin has been out since being injured in a 4-1 win against the Boston Bruins on Dec. 10. "I just want him to be himself, but do it every day so we can count on him," coach Mike Babcock said about his expectations for Marincin. "To me in life, if you do your job every day, you bring it every single day, your boss doesn't even know what you do and you get to do more and more, and he doesn't even know what you do. When you don't do your job, pretty soon he's micromanaging you because he has to do your job for you. So the best thing about players when they do it every single day and you can count on them, you know it's getting done, and that's what we need from him." Goaltender Frederik Andersen will make his third consecutive start. Toronto has trailed after the first period in their past two games. "Be ready for the first shift, that's so important because that can carry your momentum to the next shift," Andersen said. "It's tough to get the momentum back after you lose it. We have to come out and show the fans they can cheer us on and get excited. That's one way to use your home crowd is to get into it right away." Toronto is 9-2-1 in its past 12 games.

 

Senators projected lineup

Zack Smith -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Mike Hoffman -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Tom Pyatt

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Bobby Ryan

Chris Kelly -- Curtis Lazar -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci

Fredrik Claesson -- Chris Wideman

Mike Condon

Chris Driedger

Scratched: Casey Bailey, Craig Anderson
Injured: Clarke MacArthur (concussion), Andrew Hammond (ankle), Mark Borowiecki (flu)

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

Matt Martin -- Frederik Gauthier -- Nikita Soshnikov

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Martin Marincin -- Nikita Zaitsev

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Josh Leivo, Frank Corrado
Injured: Morgan Rielly (lower body), Ben Smith (hand)

 

Status Report

Rielly skated by himself on Friday; he was injured in a 4-3 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday. "He told me he's doing fine," Babcock said. "He was hoping to be better than he was today, but he's doing fine."

 

Who's hot

Turris has seven points (three goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak. … Hoffman has six points (four goals, two assists) in his past five games. … Matthews has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in his past 13 games. … van Riemsdyk has 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in a nine-game point streak. … Bozak has nine points (four goals, five assists) in his past seven games. … Marner has eight assists in a five-game point streak. … Kadri has eight points (five goals, three assists) in his past seven games.

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