Now winning 3 in a row, and 5 of their last 6 games, the Toronto Maple Leafs travel to the Nation's Capital to take on the Ottawa Senators, the 3rd road game of the Leafs' 5-game trip. (7:00PM ET).
Toronto's success, though not abundant, has mostly come on the road where the Maple Leafs have won 6 of their last 7 games, their latest a tough 2-1 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night, where Mats Sundin scored a the game-winning goal late in the 3rd for his 16th consecutive 20-Goal season and Leafs' record 12th consecutive in a Toronto uniform.
Andrew Raycroft once again had a solid outing for the Leafs, stopping of shots. Raycroft and Lundqvist got into a goaltending duel which saw the Leafs netminder come out on top after Sundin's deciding goal. Now he comes into tonight's game winning 3 straight games, posting a 1.00 Goals Against Average and .968 Save Percentage in that span.
Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/7751-gameday-52-toronto-maple-leafs-new.html
Alexei Ponikarovsky, who got hammered by Rangers Defenceman Aaron Ward earlier in the game, got the Leafs on to the board in the 2nd to tie the game. His goal being somewhat a form of revenge on Ward by having the puck bounce off his skate and into the net on the Powerplay.
The play of Andrew Raycroft has been a huge factor in Toronto's success as of late. The goaltender now has a 2.94 Goals Against Average and .898 Save Percentage for the Leafs, and is 23-16-4 after 43 games (5-1 in his last 6). However, even with the team's mosre consitent performances on the ice, they will still be on the outside of the playoff picture looking in when tonight's game in Ottawa begins, 1 win behind both the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning for th last spot in the East.Aaron Ward said:"I wasn't facing the play. I was unlucky."
Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/7906-razor-his-sharpest.html
Mats Sundin's solid game for Toronto gives him the team lead in Goals and Points, with 46 in 45 games (20G, 26A). The Leafs remain 4th in their Division with 56 Points, still trailing the Buffalo Sabres by 18 in the Northeast.
The Senators, being one of the hottest teams in the league the last month, have gone 8-2 in their last 10 games.Mats Sundin said:"It's a big part of my job. I get paid to be productive and score goals."
Their latest game was a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals, where now Martin Gerber (now the most expensive back-up goaltender in the league) got the start and the win.
Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/ottawa-senators/7739-gerber-shuts-door-capitals.html
Ray Emery is expected to start in net tonight for Ottawa in what will likely be another battle of the Sharpest when the 2 Rayzors duke it out in net once more, the Battle of Ontario swinging the way of Ottawa in the club's last meeting (3-2).
Ottawa also won the 3 of the 4 previous games, 2 of them being blowouts (7-2, 6-2). Toronto has won only the 2nd meeting of the season between the two teams, blowing out the Sens 6-0. The Series is now 4-1 in favour of the Sens, with tonight's gme being the 6th of 8 on the year.
Dany Heatley's play fr the Sens has been the team's driving force on offence for the team, with 21 Points in just his last 12 games, most of it in the absence of Centerman Jason Spezza. The sniper is currently leading the team with 31 Goals and 36 Assists for 67 Points in Games 53 games.
Heatley is currently 5th overall in League scoring, and 4th in Goals scored.
Emery has now undoubtable stolen the starting Goaltener job from Gerber in Ottawa, posting a superior 2.42 Goals Against Average and .921 Save Percentage, putting him among the best in the league. Emery also has a solid 22-12-1 record after 37 Games.
Ottawa is now tied with the Montreal Canadiens for the last home-ice slot in the Eastern Conference (30-21-2 after 53 games). They are also tied with Montreal for 2nd in the Northeast, 12 Points behind the leading Buffalo Sabres, and 6 up on the Maple Leafs.