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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, February 1st (All times Eastern)

Ottawa Senators (24-20-10) at Toronto Maple Leafs (29-21-6), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs closed January by winning eight of its last 10 games of the month. The club will try to continue its hot play and open February on a positive note when the Leafs welcome the rival Ottawa Senators for Saturday's clash at Air Canada Centre.

The Maple Leafs have posted an 8-1-1 record over its last 10 games, a stretch that has helped move Toronto into third place in the Atlantic Division. The top-three clubs in each division earn an automatic bid to the postseason.

Toronto has won its last two games on the heels of an 0-1-1 stretch and the Leafs registered a 6-3 win over the Florida Panthers in their last trip to the ice on Thursday. Toronto, which is 19-10-1 as the host this season, can complete a three-game homestand with a perfect record with another victory tonight.

Mason Raymond and James van Riemsdyk scored 31 seconds apart early in the second period to give Toronto the lead for good in the win over the Panthers.

Toronto scored five straight goals after going down 2-0 in the first period. Jonathan Bernier had 35 saves in the victory, including 15 in the second period.

The Leafs cut the deficit to 2-1 on a goal from Cody Franson with 3:11 left in the first. Raymond scored just 27 seconds into the second stanza and van Riemsdyk followed with a power-play tally at the 58-second mark of the middle period.

"We didn't have the start we wanted but to score three goals back-to-back like that was huge," said Bernier.

Nikolai Kulemin, Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak also scored for the Maple Leafs, who pushed their home winning streak to five games. Lupul and van Riemsdyk both added an assist and Nazem Kadri had three helpers.

Ottawa enters Saturday's Atlantic Division battle on a two-game win streak and the club has a solid 9-2-3 record over the last 14 games. The recent surge has the Senators one point out of a spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

The Senators last played on Thursday when they recorded a 5-3 home victory against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris each had a goal and an assist to lead the way in the victory at Canadian Tire Centre.

Marc Methot, Erik Karlsson and Zack Smith also lit the lamp for Ottawa, while Craig Anderson made 35 saves.

"I really enjoyed the game. We got scoring from all three of our forward lines," said Senators coach Paul MacLean. "In the third period we gave them a shorthanded goal and they come back, get the goalie out -- took a lot of courage for them to do that -- and they got one more out of it. But I thought at the end of the day we were better."

Ottawa is 12-9-5 as the visiting team this season and is beginning a three- game road trip tonight. The Sens will visit Pittsburgh on Monday before closing the swing Tuesday in St. Louis.

The Sens are 0-0-2 against Toronto in 2013-14, losing a pair of shootout decisions to begin the season series. The Maple Leafs have won five straight and eight of the past nine meetings overall and Ottawa has lost in its past three trips to Air Canada Centre.

02/01 11:47:08 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 2
STL 3
Final
PHI 103
MIN 94
Final
BOS 87
HOU 93
Final
ATL 105
POR 99
Final
CLE 101
SAC 90
Final
BRK 122
TOR 127
Final
MIA 72
DAL 93
Final
NOP 108
LAC 103
4th
UTA 95
GSW 81
 
1st
PHO 16
CHI 15
 
Final
PRIN 72
HARV 75
 
Final
CORN 57
BRO 49
 
Final
PENN 58
DART 51
 
Final
NIAG 61
MAR 65
 
Final
CAN 63
QUIN 57
 
Final
MAN 87
SIENA 79
 
Final
WILL 63
IUPUI 59
 
Final
FAIR 59
MON 60
 
Final
ARST 67
OREG 68
Final
CLMB 59
YALE 63
 
Half
BUF 45
KSU 25
 
Half
ARZ 24
ORST 13
 
Final
NJD 1
PIT 2
Final
CAR 2
STL 3
3rd
COL 1
NAS 0
 
1st Intermission
ANA 0
CHI 1