Game #17 Preview - Leafs vs Senators

 

Coming off an unconvincing victory, the Toronto Maple Leafs (10-5-1) will look to not only continue their hot start to this season against the Ottawa Senators (7-9-1) tonight, but to also do so in a fashion that pleases the fanbase. The criticism of the way that the Leafs have been achieving their victories has been puzzling. It seems that a fanbase that hasn't seen the playoffs since 2004 is not content with the division leading Leafs because they've been outshot in too many games. Well, I'd rather see the blue and white win some games then outshot their opponent yet lose at the end of the night.

The Senators are coming off a 5-1 loss last night at the hands of the Buffalo Sabres. Goalie Craig Anderson was pulled less than three minutes into the game after having surrendered two quick goals. There has been no word out of the Senators as to who will start tonight's game, but expect to see Anderson back in tonight versus Toronto. Anderson was also pulled the last time he faced the Leafs. Captain Daniel Alfredsson returned to the lineup last night for the first time since suffering a concussion. The Leafs will look to extend the Senators mini two game losing streak in which they've been outscored 8-3. Toronto needs to stay out of the penalty box, as the Senators have the third ranked power play in the NHL.

Just like the Blues game, the Leafs need to start strong tonight in order to keep the Senators off balance. Both Mike Komisarek and Joffrey Lupul missed practice yesterday after taking vicious slashes to the hands Thursday night. Both though are expected in the lineup. Ben Scrivens gets his second start in goal. Scrivens has been spectacular in two of his three starts and Leaf fans are hoping he can bring his road performances to the ACC. Tim Connolly (upper body) skated for the second straight day but he, along with Colby Armstrong (sprained ankle) and James Reimer (upper body) remain on the sidelines.

Lineups

Leafs

Forwards

Lupul - Bozak - Kessel

Kulemin - Grabovski - MacArthur

Steckel - Lombardi - Frattin

Brown - Dupuis - Crabb

Defense

Gunnarsson - Phaneuf

Liles - Komisarek

Gardiner - Schenn

Goalies

Scrivens

Gustavsson

Senators

Forwards 

Greening - Spezza - Michalek

Foligno - Da Costa - Alfredsson

Daugavins - Smith - Condra

Konopka - Winchester - Butler

Defense

Kuba - Karlsson

Phillips - Runblad

Cowen - Gonchar

Goalies

Anderson

Auld

Players to Watch 

Leafs: Mikhail Grabovski - The Belarussian looks to be rounding into form. His speed and creativity has exposed the Senators slow defense of late. Expect a big night from the Leafs second line.

Senators: Colin Greening - Having scored in both games this year between these two teams, the big winger will look to keep that streak up tonight. A former teammate of Ben Scrivens in College I'm sure he'll look to take advantage of his old friend.

Game Time: 7:00 at the Air Canada Centre. TV- CBC. Radio - AM640.