Thursday, October 28

GAME DAY: Toronto Maple Leafs at Ottawa Senators

Whether it’s the preseason, regular season, or playoffs, the Senators and Leafs often bring out the best in each other.

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Toronto Maple Leafs 35-14-7… First in the North Division last season

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Ottawa Senators 23-28-5… Sixth in the North Division last season

Tonight, 7pm, Canadian Tire Center, TSN5, TSN 1200 AM, Unique 94.5 FM

POINT LEADERS

toronto maple leaves

Mitch Marner 55 20 47 67 +21

Auston Matthews 52 45 21 66 +21

John Tavares 56 19 31 50 + 12

Ottawa Senators

Brady Tkachuk 56 17 19 36-17

Connor Brown 56 21 14 35 +1

Josh Norris 56 17 18 35 +12

SPECIAL TEAMS

TOR: PP 20% 16 °; PK 78.5% 23º

OTT: PP 15.5% 26 °; PK 79% 21

WHY SEE

Who wants to miss an Ontario battle? Whether it’s the preseason, regular season, or playoffs, the Senators and Leafs often bring out the best in each other. Yes, they will both miss their best players with Auston Matthews and Brady Tkachuk out of play, but this still promises to be good. Senators want to start off on the right foot at home with a large crowd in the building. They’re catching the Leafs, who played Montreal on Wednesday, back-to-back.

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Neither Toronto's Auston Matthews (injury rehab) nor Ottawa's Brady Tkachuk (unsigned free agent) will be in the lineup for Thursday's game at the Canadian Tire Center.
Neither Toronto’s Auston Matthews (injury rehab) nor Ottawa’s Brady Tkachuk (unsigned free agent) will be in the lineup for Thursday’s game at the Canadian Tire Center. Photo by Jana Chylojva / Freestyle Photo /fake images

THREE THINGS ABOUT MAPLE LEAVES

1) The Leafs will be without center Austin Matthews during the two games against the Senators. He has been a one-man wrecking team with 23 goals and 16 assists for 39 points in 24 career games against Ottawa. You’ll understand if the Sens don’t mind not seeing him one bit in these next two games. Should do a better match.

2) Given the fact that Jack Campbell started Wednesday night against the Montreal Canadiens at home, the Senators are expected to see Petr Mrazek start at the Toronto net for this one. This will be his first career start with the Leafs and he is 7-1-2 in 10 career games against Ottawa, along with a .920 save percentage and 2.44 goals against average.

3) You have to wonder how many Toronto fans will be in the building for this one. They tend to flock to Ottawa to see their favorite team, so there could be a lot of blues and whites in the stands. Senators have already taken care of this.

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THREE THINGS ABOUT SENATORS

1) It’s not supposed to be about how you start out, but it really hurt the Senators’ chances of making the playoffs when they won just two of the first 15 games in the tough North Division last season. They made a good push down the stretch, but it was too late. Senators must be strong from the start this season.

2) It looks like the Senators will have to go with their backup plan on the net while Matt Murray battles a flu virus. This is not an ideal setting because starting with Anton Forsberg on opening night was never the setting they wanted. Senators need Murray to come back as quickly as possible because he is the goalkeeper with the pedigree.

3) Senators are strong in the middle with young centers Josh Norris and Shane Pinto. They should both be quite entertaining to watch, but we’ll also have to see how they handle matchups. Life in the NHL is tough and they will face tough tests every night.

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FEED LINES OF MAPLE LEAVES

Nick Ritchie John Tavares Mitch Marner

Michael Bunting Alex Kerfoot William Nylander

Pierre Engvall David Kampf Ondrej Kase

Wayne Simmonds Michael Amadio Jason Spezza

Defense pairings

Jake Muzzin Justin Holl

Morgan Reilly TJ Brodie

Rasmus Sandin Travis Dermott

Goalkeepers

Jack campbell

Petr mrazek

OTTAWA SENATORS

Tim Stuetzle Josh Norris Drake Batherson

Nick Paul Shane Pinto Connor Brown

Alex Formenton Chris Tierney Tyler Ennis

Parker Kelly Logan Shaw Scott Sabourin

Defense pairings

Thomas Chabot Artem Zub

Victor Mete Nikita Zaitsev

Nick Holden Josh Brown

Goalkeepers

Anton Forsberg

Matt murray

[email protected]

Twitter.com/sungarrioch

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Reference-ottawasun.com

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