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Senators-Maple Leafs Preview @NHL

GAME: Ottawa Senators (7-1-0) at Toronto Maple Leafs (5-3-2).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EDT.

Ottawa Senators goaltender Dominik Hasek apparently likes the league's new shootout system. He likes it better when he faces the Toronto Maple Leafs.

The provincial rivals meet for the third time this season when the Senators and Maple Leafs face off at the Air Canada Centre.

Hasek is the main reason why Ottawa has won both meetings from Toronto this season. On Oct. 5 in Toronto, he stopped Jason Allison and Eric Lindros as the Senators escaped with a 3-2 victory in the NHL's first shootout.

Five days later, Hasek again denied Allison, Lindros and Kyle Wellwood in Ottawa's 6-5 win.

"It's definitely a great feeling to win the game and to win in the shootout," Hasek said. "You get the extra one point which is great, but I would rather win the game in 60 minutes or in the regular overtime."

Hasek also has been saddled with Ottawa's only loss this season, a 3-2 defeat Monday to surprising Carolina. Backup Ray Emery was in net for the Senators' 4-3 overtime win Thursday against Montreal.

The Maple Leafs have a future Hall of Fame goaltender of their own in Ed Belfour, who also has thrived in the shootout.

Belfour made 49 saves and added three more during the shootout in his last start, a 5-4 win Monday over Boston.

"It's just crazy," the 40-year-old Belfour said. "An emotional roller-coaster. One minute you're a slug, the next minute you're a hero."

Like Hasek, Belfour was given the night off in the Maple Leafs' next game. Backup Mikael Tellqvist was in net Thursday in Toronto's 2-1 loss to the Bruins in the back end of a home-and-home series.

The anticipated matchup in net should be fairly even. Hasek is 17-5-5 with three shutouts, a 2.04 goals-against average and .926 save percentage in his career against the Maple Leafs. Belfour is 10-6-2-2 with four shutouts, a 1.99 GAA and .923 save percentage against Ottawa.

STANDINGS: Senators - 14 points, 2nd place, 1 PB, Northeast Division. Maple Leafs - 12 points, 3rd place (tied), 3 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Senators - Daniel Alfredsson, 6 goals; Jason Spezza, 9 assists and 14 points; Chris Neil, 29 PIM. Maple Leafs - Lindros, 8 goals; Bryan McCabe, 12 assists and 15 points; Wade Belak, 33 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Senators - Power play: 21.1 percent (11 for 52), tied for 6th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87 percent (47 for 54), 7th. Maple Leafs - Power play: 28.9 percent (20 for 69), 1st. Penalty killing: 85.2 percent (52 for 61), 8th.

GOALTENDERS: Senators - Hasek (5-1-0, 1 SO, 1.95 GAA); Emery (2-0-0, 2.44). Maple Leafs - Belfour (4-2-2, 3.37); Tellqvist (1-1-0, 2.02).

SEASON SERIES: Senators, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Oct. 10; Senators, 6-5,(SO). At Ottawa, Toronto scored three third-period goals, but Hasek stopped all three shots he faced in the shootout to lift the Senators.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Senators - 3-1-0 on the road; Maple Leafs - 3-2-1 at home.

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