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Senators, Maple Leafs seeking strong finish

by Staff

SENATORS (35-31-14) at MAPLE LEAFS (38-35-8)


Last 10: Ottawa 7-2-1; Toronto 2-8-0

Season series: The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking for the season sweep of the Ottawa Senators, having won the previous three, including two via shootout. Maple Leafs forward Phil Kessel has four goals and seven points against the Senators this season.

Big story: Neither team will be in the Stanley Cup Playoffs; the Maple Leafs have lost 11 of 13 games, the Senators have won six of eight.

Team Scope:

Senators: Ottawa looks to match a season-high fourth straight win Saturday against the Maple Leafs, having last accomplished the feat more than three months ago.

"The obvious first place you start when you evaluate [the season] is that you're not in the top 16, you're not in the top eight in the Eastern Conference," coach Paul MacLean said Thursday. "After we play 82 games, we are going to evaluate all the rest of it, and we have to work hard to discover what or why we are not in the top eight."

Goalie Craig Anderson will start; he is 0-1-2 with a 3.80 goals-against average and .889 save percentage against the Maple Leafs this season.

Maple Leafs: Toronto coach Randy Carlyle wants to see a better effort from his team, which has lost its past three games.

"I think our message has been that our level of compete has to be displayed in a very trying situation and emotions for people to reach back and dig deep," Carlyle said after practice Friday. "We have not been able to do that specifically in the past two games."

The Maple Leafs made news Friday by hiring Brendan Shanahan as president and alternate governor.

"He's a very experienced person. Twenty years in the league, a few Stanley Cups," forward Nazem Kadri said after practice Friday. "He is definitely the ideal person you want in your organization."

Shanahan will be formally introduced Monday.

Who's hot: Senators forward Ales Hemsky has eight points in his past eight games. ... Maple Leafs forward Tyler Bozak has two goals and four points in his past four games.

Injury report: Senators defenseman Jared Cowen (lower body) and Bobby Ryan (sports hernia) are out. Forward Mika Zibanejad (undisclosed) was taken to a hospital after the game Thursday but reportedly was on hand for the team picture Friday. … Maple Leafs goalie Jonathan Bernier (MCL) and forward Joffrey Lupul (knee) are out. Forward Dave Bolland (ankle) did not play Thursday.

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