Senators aiming higher

The Ottawa Senators will be looking to cement their hold on top spot in the Northeast Division and second spot in the Eastern Conference tonight when the Battle of Ontario resumes tonight.

While many previous Senators-Leafs games have been physical and featured numerous fights, Senators coach Paul MacLean has opted not to add either centre Zenon Konopka or Matt Carkner to the lineup. MacLean will stick with the same lineup which defeated the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 in overtime on Friday. Goaltender Ben Bishop, who has sported a 3-0-2 record since being recalled from Binghamton of the AHL, will make his sixth consecutive start.

“The games haven’t been as truculent as they might have been in the past,” MacLean said, in a not-so-veiled reference to Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke, who had promised a more truculent Toronto team. “We’ve had them in the lineup earlier in the year, but the games seem to be a more skilled-based game.”

While the Senators had success against Montreal after shuffling his forward lines in the third period – Colin Greening tied the game after moving from a line with Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek to a unit featuring Zack Smith and Erik Condra – MacLean says he will start the game the same way he began Friday’s contest versus Montreal.

James Reimer is expected to start in goal for the Maple Leafs. Reimer is coming off a 3-1 win over Tampa Bay on Thursday, a victory which ended the Maple Leafs four game losing streak. The Maple Leafs have a 2-4-1 record since Randy Carlyle replaced Ron Wilson as coach.

The Senators hold on first in the division and second in the Conference is a tender one. The Boston Bruins were in position to regain the lead as they played the Philadelphia Flyers in a Saturday afternoon game. The Bruins, however, went into the game on a four-game losing streak and with a record of 3-7 in their previous 10 games. They haven’t won back to back games since early January.

 

What do you think? Leave a comment