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Leafs hope to continue surge in home tilt vs. Sens

(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 11:32:17 ET

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Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT
Final
NYY 5
TOR 2
Final
MIA 1
WAS 2
9th
BAL 2
BOS 3
 
Final
PIT 1
MIL 0
9th
ATL 2
NYM 10
 
9th
TAM 3
CWS 10
 
7th
MIN 2
CLE 7
 
7th
KAN 4
DET 2
 
7th
HOU 4
SEA 3
 
6th
CHC 4
LOS 6
 
5th
ANA 0
TEX 0
 
2nd
OAK 3
PHI 1
 
3rd
COL 1
ARI 0
 
2nd
SDP 0
SFG 0
 
8:05pm Tonight
STL
CIN
Final
CAR 3
CLB 4
 
5:00pm Tonight
WAS
BUF
 
6:30pm Tonight
CLB
STL
 
8:00pm Tonight
EDM
CAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
CAL
EDM
 
Final
CLE 21
BAL 23
 
Final
STL 31
DAL 34
 
Final
DET 19
GBP 7
 
Final
NYG 30
HOU 17
 
Final
JAC 17
IND 44
Final
NOS 20
MIN 9
Final
NEP 16
OAK 9
 
Final
BUF 10
SDC 22
 
Final
CIN 33
TEN 7
Final
PHI 37
WAS 34
 
2nd
ARI 3
SFX 7
 
1st
SEA 3
DEN 0
 
1st
MIA 0
KAN 0
 
8:30pm Tonight
CAR
PIT