NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Saturday, February 19th
(All times eastern)
Ottawa Senators (18-31-9) at Toronto Maple Leafs (25-27-6), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will shoot for a third straight win
tonight when they host the lowly Ottawa Senators at Air Canada Centre, but
they will have to do so without the services of defenseman Tomas Kaberle.
After years of being mentioned in trade rumors, Kaberle was finally dealt on
Friday to the Boston Bruins. In return, the Bruins sent Toronto forward
prospect Joe Colborne, a first-round pick in the 2011 draft and a conditional
second-round selection in 2012.
Kaberle, set to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season,
had spent his entire 12-year NHL career in Toronto after being taken by the
Maple Leafs in the eighth round of the 1996 draft. The four-time All-Star
broke into the league in 1998 and he was leading the Leafs in assists this
season with 35 to go along with three goals.
The native of the Czech Republic ranks second all-time among Toronto
defenseman in points (520), with only Borje Salming ahead of him.
"On behalf of our entire organization I would like to thank Tomas for all of
his many outstanding contributions to the Toronto Maple Leafs on the ice, and
in the community," team president and general manager Brian Burke said. "He
has been a model citizen and it's never easy to trade a player that has
conducted himself as professionally as Tomas."
Colborne was the 16th overall pick in the 2008 draft but has yet to see the
ice for the Bruins. He will report to directly to the Toronto Marlies, the
Leafs' AHL affiliate.
The Maple Leafs, who are eight points out of a playoff spot in the East, are
coming off wins in Boston and Buffalo, giving Toronto its third two-game win
streak of the month. Toronto hasn't won three in a row since a four-game
streak from Jan. 6-11.
After recording a 4-3 win in Boston on Tuesday, the Leafs capped their three-
game road trip with another close regulation win the following night in
Buffalo. Joey Crabb's shorthanded goal in the third period proved to be the
game-winner, as the Maple Leafs held on for the 2-1 victory at HSBC Arena.
Phil Kessel also scored for Toronto, while James Reimer took over for the
injured Jean-Sebastien Giguere and made 14 saves in two periods for the
Giguere is questionable for tonight with a lower-body injury and it's unclear
if he will even be able to serve as the backup to Reimer. If Giguere is unable
to go, Toronto is expected to use untested rookie Ben Scrivens as this
Toronto is 13-11-5 as the host this year and is playing the first of two
straight on home ice. The Maple Leafs will also welcome the New York Islanders
to ACC on Tuesday.
The Senators, meanwhile, are dead last in the East with 45 points and the club
has just two wins over their last 21 games (2-14-5). Ottawa was dealt a 4-2
home loss Friday by visiting Boston for its second straight setback.
Bobby Butler and Alex Kovalev tallied for the Senators. Robin Lehner dropped
his fourth straight decision after yielding all four goals on 33 shots.
Ottawa could use newly-acquired goaltender Craig Anderson as the starter
tonight. Anderson came to the Senators on Friday when Ottawa dealt goaltender
Brian Elliott to Colorado.
Anderson was not in Ottawa for the start of Friday's game against Boston, but
he was eventually able to arrive at the arena and sat on the bench as the
backup to Lehner.
The 29-year-old Anderson, whose contract will expire this spring, appeared in
33 games for the Avalanche this season and posted a record of 13-15-3 with a
3.28 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.
The Maple Leafs and Senators have split four meetings this season, but Toronto
has taken six of eight overall in the series. Ottawa had lost three straight
at Air Canada Centre before posting a 3-2 win there on Nov. 2. The Leafs have
still won six of the last eight encounters in Toronto.
Ottawa is 9-15-4 as the road team this season.
02/19 11:22:47 ET