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Senators go for 12 in a row as they visit Leafs

by John Kreiser

SENATORS (33-21-4) at MAPLE LEAFS (18-29-11)

Last 10 -- Ottawa 10-0-0; Toronto 2-6-2

Season series -- The teams are meeting for the fourth time this season, but the first since Dec. 14. Ottawa won the first two, 2-1 in Toronto and 3-2 at home, before the Leafs held off the Senators 3-2 at the Air Canada Centre in mid-December

Big story -- Were it not for the Washington Capitals' 13-game winning streak, the Senators would likely be getting a lot more attention for their team-record 11-game streak. Ottawa has gone more than three weeks without losing, including a 3-1 win over Vancouver on Thursday. The Leafs, now last in the East, would like nothing more than to end their provincial rival's streak.

Team Scope:

Senators -- No goaltender in the NHL has been better recently than Ottawa's Brian Elliott. The former ninth-round pick set a team record on Thursday with his ninth consecutive victory.

"Ells has been phenomenal," center Jason Spezza said. "There's not enough we can say about how well he's played. He just keeps it going and it seems like every night he seems better and better, so it's going well for us."

Maple Leafs -- The Leafs were well on their way to a sweep of the Devils, leading 3-1 at New Jersey on Friday with just over three minutes left, when the bottom fell out. Dean McAmmond scored with 3:04 left, Travis Zajac scored a sixth-attacker goal and Jay Pandolfo banged in a rebound with 18.2 seconds left, turning a solid road win into a gut-wrenching 4-3 loss.

"We've had a couple of games like this where we were up a couple of goals in the third period," said goaltender Jonas Gustavsson, who took the loss. "It's tough right now. We just have to move on."

Who's hot -- Spezza has a goal in each of the last eight games he's played in, including six straight after returning from knee surgery. He has 9 goals in his last eight games. … Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who's likely to start in goal for the Leafs, is coming off a 3-0 win over New Jersey in his Toronto debut on Tuesday.

Injury report -- Ottawa took a hit on the blue line when rookie Erik Karlsson left Thursday's win over the Canucks with a shoulder injury. … Toronto learned this week that defenseman Mike Komisarek will need season-ending shoulder surgery, and forward Mikhail Grabovski won't be back until after the Olympic break due to a broken wrist.

Stat pack -- A Toronto penalty will set up a battle between the NHL's weakest power play and its poorest penalty-killing unit. Despite their winning streak, the Senators are last in the League on the power play at 15.2 percent. But the Leafs are by far the worst on the penalty kill at 70.4 percent.

Puck drop -- The Battle of Ontario is always heated, and the Senators' streak just adds more fuel to the fire.

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