Teams prep for Battle of Ontario
Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency
|The Senators have rewarded Bobby Butler with a two-year, one-way contract. (OTTAWA SUN FILE PHOTO)
The Senators are ready for the Battle of Ontario.
Coming off a 2-1 OT loss to the New York Islanders Friday to start a five-game homestand, there will be no rest for the Senators as they host the arch-rival Toronto Maple Leafs at Scotiabank Place on Hockey Night in Canada.
Coach Paul MacLean isn’t making any changes. Both teams are battling for a playoff spot.
“We’d like to see all Canadian teams in the playoffs. No question. Both teams are probably happy where they are now but we know there’s a lot of work to be done. It’s going to be a fierce race all the way to the finish,” said captain Daniel Alfredsson.
“Tonight’s a division game, another four point game. Last time we were in Toronto it was a big win for us (on Jan. 17th a 3-2 win). They’d like to do the same to us.”
Goalie Craig Anderson will head between the pipes for his 17th straight start. Winger Bobby Butler is going to be a healthy scratch and centre Jason Spezza, battling the flu, is expected to be in the lineup.
The Senators held an optional skate.
Trying to halt a five-game losing skid, the Senators need to get back on track with teams suddenly on their backs to get a playoff spot in the difficult Eastern Conference. Four of the club’s five losses have been by one goal.
The Leafs are coming off a 1-0 victory over the Penguins Wednesday at home.
James Reimer will make the start for the Leafs.