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Preview: Maple Leafs at Senators

Curtis McElhinney will make Toronto debut; Ottawa goaltender Mike Condon will start ninth straight game

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

MAPLE LEAFS (19-13-8) at SENATORS (22-14-4)

7 p.m. ET; CBC, CITY, TVA Sports2, NHL.TV 


Maple Leafs team scope

Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis McElhinney, claimed on waivers from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday, will start. The Maple Leafs also recalled goaltender Garrett Sparks from the Toronto Marlies of the American Hockey League on Saturday. Toronoto trails the Ottawa Senators by two points for third place in the Atlantic Division. Each team has played 40 games. The Maple Leafs are coming off a 4-2 win at the New York Rangers on Friday, their seventh win in nine games (7-1-1). Toronto's power play has scored two goals in each of the past four games (8-for-17). Their special teams rank No. 1 in the NHL on the road; the Maple Leafs power play is 20-for-66 away from home (30.3 percent) and their road penalty kill is 67-for-74 (90.5 percent). Toronto, which held an optional morning skate Saturday, is 8-1-2 in its past 11 road games. The Maple Leafs have not lost on the road in regulation since a 3-0 defeat at the Calgary Flames on Nov. 30. 


Senators team scope

The Ottawa Senators defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-1 on Thursday for their second straight win, and are 4-1-1 in their past six home games. After going 0-for-14 on the power play in four games, the Senators are 3-for-6 in their past two games. The Senators penalty killing is 13-for-13 in the past five games. Goaltender Mike Condon will make his ninth consecutive start. He is 4-3-1 with a .918 save percentage in his past eight starts. Maple Leafs rookie Auston Matthews, the first pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, scored four goals on opening night in the Senators's 5-4 overtime win on Oct. 12. "How well they are playing, this is a great challenge for us," forward Chris Kelly said. "The last time we played them was at the home opener and I think both teams have grown and kind of found their identities. I think tonight should be a fun game to play."


Maple Leafs projected lineup

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander  

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Matt Martin -- Frederik Gauthier -- Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Rielly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak  

Curtis McElhinney

Frederik Andersen

Scratched:  Frank Corrado, Garret Sparks, Josh Leivo

Injured: Ben Smith (upper body), Martin Marincin (lower body)


Senators projected lineup 

Zack Smith -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Bobby Ryan

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

Chris Kelly -- Curtis Lazar -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson 

Dion Phaneuf -- Cody Ceci 

Mark Borowiecki -- Chris Wideman

Mike Condon

Matt O'Connor

Scratched: Fredrik Claesson

Injured: Andrew Hammond (ankle), Clarke MacArthur (concussion) 

Personal leave: Craig Anderson


Status report

Babcock is expected to update the Maple Leafs goaltending situation and possible lineup changes prior to the game.


Who's hot

Matthews has 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in his past 10 games. … van Riemsdyk has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in a six-game point streak. … Marner has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past five games. … Bozak has six points (two goals, four assists) in a four-game point streak. … Kadri has five points (three goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak. … Stone has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his past 11 games. … Smith has 10 points (five goals, five assists) in his past eight games. … Hoffman has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past seven games.


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