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Game Day: Senators at Maple Leafs – Toronto Sun

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OTTAWA SENATORS (18-24-9) at TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS (27-17-7)

Saturday, 7 p.m., Scotiabank Arena

TV: CBC, Sportsnet

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Radio: 1050 AM (Toronto), TSN 1200-AM, Unique, 94.5 FM (Ottawa)

THE BIG MATCHUP

Ron Hainsey vs. Mitch Marner

Mitch Marner and linemates Auston Matthews and Zach Hyman are bound to see a lot of Ron Hainsey, if not another former Leafs teammate, fellow defenceman Nikita Zaitsev. “That can (help) a little bit,” Marner said of the familiarity. “But I think it also helps them. They know our tendencies pretty well. I went against Ron quite a bit in practice and the same with Zaitsev.” Still, expect Marner to add to the 14 points in 12 career games he has against Ottawa.

FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME

1. Play of Hutchinson

With whispers continuing that the Maple Leafs are looking to upgrade the backup spot behind Frederik Andersen, Michael Hutchinson gets an opportunity to perhaps give general manager Kyle Dubas pause for thought. The Leafs need the Hutchinson who stopped 33 shots for a shutout against the New York Islanders on Jan. 4 (his previous start), not the one who was lousy in relief duty in two appearances since.

2. More from Matthews

In his charge toward 50 goals, Auston Matthews has scored in each of the Leafs’ two games after the break to put him at 36. In 13 career games versus Ottawa, Matthews has 12 goals and 19 points, tied for his best output against any NHL club. Matthews began the season with two goals against the Sens, and while Ottawa coach D.J. Smith knows him well, it’s going to take more than that to quiet No. 34.

3. No pushovers

Anyone glancing at the schedule and assuming it’s guaranteed-win night for the Leafs because the Sens played on Friday at home against Washington would be mistaken. Ottawa has six road wins, the second-fewest in the NHL, but has managed to put together a 3-4-2 record in the second game of back to backs. “It’s a team that works hard every night,” Marner said. “We have to make sure we’re ready.”

4. Chabot on cue

There have been defensive struggles for Sens defenceman Thomas Chabot — not that those make him different from his teammates — but other factors set him apart. Chabot is the kind of player the Sens can build around, and if the game is close on Saturday, he can make a difference. The Leafs have had troubles with him before, as Chabot has four goals in seven career games versus Toronto.

5. Heat up at home

For the Leafs to take a serious run at solidifying a playoff spot, they’re going to have to improve at Scotiabank Arena. In their 25 home games, the Leafs recorded a middling mark of 12-6-7. If the Leafs need special teams to win on Saturday, they would take into account the Sens’ road power-play success rate of 13.9%, among the worst in the NHL. On paper, the Leafs have the upper hand in skill and depth.

MAPLE LEAFS LINES

LW-C-RW

Zach Hyman-Auston Matthews-Mitch Marner

Alex Kerfoot-John Tavares-William Nylander

Andreas Johnsson-Pierre Engvall-Kasperi Kapanen

Trevor Moore-Frederik Gauthier-Jason Spezza

Defence pairs

Jake Muzzin-Justin Holl

Travis Dermott/Martin Marincin-Tyson Barrie

Rasmus Sandin-Cody Ceci

Goaltenders

Michael Hutchinson

Frederik Andersen

SENATORS LINES

LW-C-RW

Brady Tkachuk-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Connor Brown

Vladislav Namestnikov-Chris Tierney-Anthony Duclair

Tyler Ennis-Colin White-Drake Batherson

Filip Chlapik-Artem Anisimov-Scott Sabourin

Defence pairs

Thomas Chabot-Ron Hainsey

Mark Borowiecki-Dylan DeMelo

Mike Reilly-Nikita Zaitsev

Goaltenders

Craig Anderson

Marcus Hogberg

INJURIES

Senators — LW Nick Paul (ankle), G Anders Nilsson (concussion), D Christian Wolanin (shoulder).

Maple Leafs — D Morgan Rielly (foot), RW Ilya Mikheyev (wrist).

SPECIAL TEAMS

Power play

Senators: 14.4% (31st)

Maple Leafs: 23.7% (6th)

Penalty kill

Senators: 81% (15th)

Maple Leafs: 76.9% (25th)

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Canadiens @ Oilers: Start time, Tale of the Tape, and how to watch – Habs Eyes on the Prize

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Montreal Canadiens @ Edmonton Oilers

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In Canada: CBC, Sportsnet 360 (English), TVAS (French)

The Montreal Canadiens will look to add another win on their Western-Canada-plus-Seattle road trip two nights removed from an exciting 2-1 victory over the Calgary Flames on Thursday. The game might have been a one-goal contest, but it would’ve been a lot different if goaltender Jake Allen hadn’t stood on his head, making a whopping 45 saves in the victory, his first since November 19.

Tale of the Tape

Canadiens Statistics Oilers
Canadiens Statistics Oilers
12-10-1 Record 13-11-0
45.8% (24th) Scoring-chances-for % 50,5% (17th)
2,78 (26th) Goals per game 3,42 (9th)
3,39 (22nd) Goals against per game 3,63 (7th)
15,7% (29th) PP% 27,6% (5th)
82,3% (6th) PK% 71,6% (27th)
1-1-0 H2H Record (’21-22) 1-1-0

On Thursday, it was Montreal’s first overall pick from this summer’s draft, Juraj Slafkovský, who opened the scoring on the first shot of the game at 13 seconds, when Calgary all-star goaltender Jacob Markstrom decided to leave his crease to try to play the puck, which inevitably resulted in a poor miscue by the former Vezina nominee.

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Habs standout Cole Caufield, who has been mesmerizing fans and brass alike, scored the eventual game-winner, a power-play marker six-and-a-half minutes into the third period for his team-leading 13th goal of the season. The man advantage has been a bit of a soft spot all season, finding itself 29th in the league, and also especially after going zero-for-six earlier in the week against San Jose, it was nice to see it clicking for once.

Thursday’s game was also a homecoming of sorts for Sean Monahan, a former 2013 first-round pick of the Calgary Flames. His return was met with a lot of chants and cheers, as opposed to Kirby Dach’s return to Chicago a week prior. Monahan, who currently sits fourth in team scoring with five goals and 16 points, assisted on both Montreal goals.

Tonight’s opponent, the Edmonton Oilers, saw their three-game winning streak come to an abrupt halt in their last game Thursday night, a 5-3 loss to Kirill ‘The Thrill’ Kaprizov and the Minnesota Wild squad. The Oilers’ one-two punch of Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl each had a goal and a helper in the contest, but it didn’t help their cause.

McDavid and Draisaitl have been two of the best players in the game in recent years, and yet again find themselves on pace for record-setting seasons, sitting number one and three in the NHL scoring race, respectively. McDavid’s 19 goals and 43 points through his first 24 games make his numbers last season (44 goals and 79 assists) look like a poor performance for the perennial all-star.

His German counterpart currently has 16 goals and 38 points, making his career-best totals of 55 goals and 110 points also seem well within reach, which makes these two some of the best teammates at the top of the leaderboard since the late-90s when the Pittsburgh Penguins had Mario Lemieux and Jaromir Jagr taking the league down in a fury.

Both Edmonton goaltenders, Jack Campbell and Stuart Skinner, have shared an equal workload with Mike Smith on the Long-Term Injured Reserve list. Campbell, who signed an off-season deal with the Oilers at five years and-$25 million, has put up seven wins, but a league-worst 4.12 goals-against-average.

Last season saw these two squads split the season series, with each road team getting a victory. Edmonton took the first contest, a 7-2 dismantling at the Bell Centre on January 29, and then Montreal exacted revenge on March 5, with a 5-2 victory at Rogers Place.

One bright spot for Habs last year was that of all nine of Edmonton’s goal-scorers versus Montreal, none wore the number 97. McDavid registered zero points across both contests. Just a little optimism that it can repeat itself Saturday in Alberta.

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NHL Buzz: Manson out week to week for Avalanche – NHL.com

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Welcome to the NHL Buzz. The 2022-23 regular season is underway, and NHL.com has you covered with all the latest news.

Colorado Avalanche

Josh Manson is out week to week for the Avalanche because of a lower-body injury.

The defenseman, who sustained the injury in a 6-4 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Thursday, has six points (two goals, four assists) in 21 games this season.

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Andreas Englund was recalled from Colorado of the American Hockey League. He has one assist in four games with the Avalanche this season.

“Englund has played good when he’s been up with us,” Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said. “I really like what he did when he was up. … Just another big (6-foot-3, 189 pounds), heavy, strong guy that’s been an efficient puck mover for us on the back end.”

Carolina Hurricanes

Teuvo Teravainen could return for the Hurricanes on Saturday one day after the forward was activated off injured reserve.

Teravainen, who has missed the past 10 games with an upper-body injury, has seven assists in 14 games this season.

Carolina plays at the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday (10:30 p.m. ET; BSW, BSSO, ESPN+, SN NOW).

Philadelphia Flyers

Cam Atkinson said he’s getting closer to making his season debut, but the forward remains day to day because of an upper-body injury.

Atkinson added he’s been fully cleared for contact and is not restricted in any way.

“It’s obviously good to be back with everyone and take a little bit of licks and see how I do,” Atkinson said. “Just day to day for me right now.

“It’s been pretty good. A little bit of an adjustment but just working out the kinks. I’m getting close, but not enough to where I think I can help this team right now. But I’m closer than not.”

Atkinson was second on the Flyers in goals (23) and points (50) last season. Entering Saturday, Philadelphia was last in the NHL in goals per game (2.38).

Atkinson said the nature of his injury has allowed him to skate and stay in shape that way but that it might take a game or two for him to get his timing with the puck back to normal.

“If I was playing and if we had a day off, even one day off, even if I played 30 games and I took a day off, I still feel like that next practice my timing is just a little bit off,” he said. “Maybe it’s more mental than not. So obviously not playing any games it’s going to take a game or two to get adjusted, but we’re on a pretty good schedule for me right now. I’ve revved it up a lot and I’m feeling good. I feel like my timing is pretty solid, but you really won’t know until you play a game.” — Adam Kimelman

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World Cup Daily: Timeless Messi is on a mission for Argentina – Sportsnet.ca

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