Series (Game 4 of 6)

Toronto leads 4-2

Game 1: Tuesday, October 6th
Maple Leafs1
Game 2: Tuesday, November 17th
Maple Leafs2Final
Game 3: Monday, December 14th
Maple Leafs3
Game 4: Saturday, February 6th
Maple Leafs5
Game 5: Saturday, March 6th
Maple Leafs2Final
Game 6: Tuesday, March 16th
Maple Leafs4Final

Senators 0

(33-22-4, 70 pts)

Maple Leafs 5

(19-29-11, 49 pts)

Coverage: NHL

7:00 PM ET, February 6, 2010

Air Canada Centre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

1 2 3 T
OTT 0 0 00
TOR 3 1 15

J. Giguere (Maple Leafs - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: 1.000

L. Schenn (Maple Leafs - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

P. Kessel (Maple Leafs - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 1

Senators-Maple Leafs Preview


Having Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson healthy has been a key reason the Ottawa Senators have won 11 straight games and thrust themselves back into the thick of the Northeast Division race.

Backup goaltender Brian Elliott making the most of an unlikely opportunity has helped, too.

The three players try to lead the Senators to a 12th consecutive victory Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, their provincial archrivals who are trying to regroup from a brutal late-game collapse.

The Senators (33-21-4) have climbed within one point of division-leading Buffalo on their franchise-record run as both veteran forwards have stepped to the forefront. Spezza has scored a goal in each of his six games since returning from a knee injury, and Alfredsson has seven goals and nine assists in 10 games since being sidelined by a shoulder injury.

Elliott's play in net, though, has been equally important. With Pascal Leclaire already sidelined, Elliott made a fill-in start for an ill Mike Brodeur at Boston on Jan. 18, and he hasn't relinquished the No. 1 spot since.

The second-year netminder has been in net for the last nine victories -- a club record -- compiling a 1.22 goals-against average and .958 save percentage while conceding 11 goals during that run. He made 29 saves in Thursday's 3-1 victory over Vancouver, including 15 in the third period when the Senators were outshot 16-4.

"Ells has been phenomenal," said Spezza, whose goal-scoring streak has tied Dany Heatley's team record. "There's not enough we can say about how well he's played. He just keeps it going and it seems like every night he seems better and better, so it's going well for us."

Elliott is 1-2-1 lifetime against the Maple Leafs and lost 3-2 in the teams' most recent meeting Dec. 14.

The Senators will be without rookie defenseman Erik Karlsson, who suffered a shoulder injury Thursday that will sideline him until after the Olympic break. The 19-year-old had five assists during the streak -- four in the last four games -- and a plus-eight player rating.

"He was playing really well and he's going to be missed, no question, because of what he brought offensively with the puck," Alfredsson told the team's official Web site. "But he'll be back soon enough. Maybe he can use this rest as well and come back even stronger."

The Maple Leafs, who have allowed an NHL-worst 201 goals and begun to revamp the roster with last week's acquisitions of defenseman Dion Phaneuf and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, failed to close out New Jersey on Friday in a bid for a home-and-home sweep of the Atlantic-leading Devils.

Toronto (18-29-11) allowed three goals in the final 3:04 of a 4-3 defeat, falling to 1-5-2 in its last eight games as it likely heads to a fifth straight season without making the playoffs.

"I don't think anyone saw this coming, even after they got their second goal," said center Rickard Wallin, who had given the Leafs a 3-1 lead in the second period. "That didn't seem much of a chance to develop. They have some players and you can't give them anything. That's what happened late on the penalty kill and the last one was just a killer."

Giguere, acquired last Saturday from Anaheim, did not play Friday after making 30 saves in Tuesday's 3-0 win over the Devils. He fell to 4-2-1 lifetime against Ottawa after a 4-3 shootout loss Dec. 6, but he also backstopped the Ducks to the 2007 Stanley Cup title by beating the Senators in five games.

Ottawa won the other two games between the teams this season.