Toronto Maple Leafs (15-11-3) at Ottawa Senators (11-14-4)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 7, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Ottawa Senators -147 / Toronto Maple Leafs +134 --- Over/Under: 5.5
The Battle of Ontario takes center stage in Ottawa on Saturday night as the struggling Senators look for a home ice win against their archrivals from Toronto.
The Maple Leafs head into Ottawa as the walking wounded as they have had a number of injuries plague their potential this season and now with Tyler Bozak back on the IR and Dave Bolland not slated back for a couple more weeks the depth of the Leafs will continue to be tested. Phil Kessel is another one of the Maple Leafs top guns who has struggled with injuries of late but he is likely back for tonight’s critical encounter with Ottawa and he will be relied upon heavily for the bulk of the offense. The Leafs have fallen into 5th place in the Atlantic and are six back of the division leading Canadiens while the Sens have just three wins in their last 10 contests and sit seven points back of the Leafs. Jonathan Bernier is slated to get the start for the Leafs as he matches up against Craig Anderson for the Sens.
Ottawa has hit a bit of a rough patch as they have just 26 points so far this season but I think this year as a whole will be a rough one for them as they simply don’t have a playoff type roster and have a number of holes in their lineup. The loss of Daniel Alfredsson has been tough to overcome from a production and leadership standpoint, Craig Anderson hasn’t been the same force in goal, and Erik Karlsson has struggled putting up the numbers they have grown to expect leaving them in a tight place and might become sellers at the trade deadline. The lone bright spot has been the play of newcomer Bobby Ryan who continues to assert himself as one of the game’s best goal scorers. These battles between the Leafs and Sens are always entertaining regardless of the season’s juncture or where each team lies in the standings and I expect another good one here tonight. I think the Leafs will be too much on this night and are getting a pretty solid price on the road so it’s too good to pass on.