Nation to be spared Leafs-Sens

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:49 PM ET

OTTAWA -- Just call it The Battle of Onterrible.

When the 28th place Maple Leafs face off against the 24th place Ottawa Senators Saturday night at Scotiabank Place, the matchup will hardly conjure up memories of the fierce provincial rivalry that captured the imagination of Ontario a decade ago.

The talk around the rink Saturday morning suggested that CBC would nationally switch over to the Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at Heinz Field at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, leaving the Leafs and Sens shown just in their local markets.

Given how poorly both Ontario teams have performed this season, the other Canadian provinces probably are thankful it has worked out this way.

While the Leafs have dropped four of their past five games, the Sens suffered a heartbreaking 4-3 overtime loss in Columbus on Friday night.

Jonas Gustavsson is expected to start in goal for Toronto while Brian Elliott should get the nod for Ottawa.

The Sens are 2-1 against the Leafs this season.

CROSS CHECKS

After sitting out as a healthy scratch, veteran defenceman Filip Kuba will be back in the Sens lineup on Saturday. Brian Lee comes out ... About 15 Leaf players gathered in a room at the team hotel in Ottawa to watch the World Junior game between Canada and Sweden on Friday afternoon. In the end, the Swedes may have been outnumbered by their Canadian teammates on the Leafs, but they would have the final laugh as the Tre Kroners defeated Canada in a shootout. "It's a great day," goalie Jonas Gustavsson said. "We don't beat Canada too much so it's a big deal."

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