Teams prep for Battle of Ontario

The Senators have rewarded Bobby Butler with a two-year, one-way contract. (OTTAWA SUN FILE PHOTO)

The Senators have rewarded Bobby Butler with a two-year, one-way contract. (OTTAWA SUN FILE PHOTO)

Bruce Garrioch, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:38 PM ET

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.

bruce.garrioch@sunmedia.ca 

Twitter: @sungarrioch 


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