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Senators-Maple Leafs Preview

Tuesday, 10.24.2006 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

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Senators-Maple Leafs Preview
Ottawa Senators vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The road has been good to the Ottawa Senators so far this season. They'll try for their third straight win away from Scotiabank Place when they open their second home-and-home series of the season with the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday night.

Ottawa (3-4-0) has won both of its road games, including a 4-1 victory over the Maple Leafs to open the season Oct. 4. The Leafs earned a split of that home-and-home set with a 6-0 victory the next day.

While the Senators have done well so far on the road, they got their first home win in five tries Saturday, 8-1 over New Jersey. Ottawa finally broke out offensively after scoring only 11 goals in the first six games.

Ottawa led the league with 314 goals last season.

"We know it's just one game and we have to keep working," captain Daniel Alfredsson said. "Right now it feels great, especially to win at home and the way we played."

Dean McAmmond and Antoine Vermette each scored twice Saturday for the Senators, who had a season-high 38 shots on goal.

"We relaxed a little bit and started making the plays that people are used to seeing us make," center Jason Spezza said. "To get everybody in on it allows you to grip the stick a little less tightly from now on."

After beating the Leafs in the season opener, the Senators dropped their next three games - all at home - before winning 3-2 in a shootout at Montreal on Oct. 14.

Martin Gerber (1-3-0, 3.31 GAA) will be in goal for the Sens on Tuesday as he continues to alternate starts with Ray Emery (2-1-0, 1.48 GAA). Gerber hasn't won since the season opener and was pulled after allowing five goals in two periods against the Maple Leafs the next night, but made 34 saves in a 2-1 home defeat to Colorado on Thursday.

The Maple Leafs (4-2-3) lost 5-4 to the New York Rangers in a shootout Saturday. Five of the Leafs' nine games have gone to overtime, with four going to shootouts.

"We're too early in this campaign to look at trends," Toronto coach Paul Maurice said.

While the Leafs haven't done well in shootouts so far, they know it's not for lack of effort.

"I'm really happy. We shouldn't be discouraged about this game," center Mats Sundin said. "I thought we really worked hard. In the third period we were the better team and we almost found a way to win in regulation, but we'll take the point."

The Maple Leafs have yet to win consecutive games this season despite getting solid production from forwards Darcy Tucker (seven goals), Kyle Wellwood (10 points) and Sundin (nine points).

Tucker scored twice in the Leafs' win over the Senators on Oct. 5, and Andrew Raycroft made 34 saves to post his first shutout since Jan. 31, 2004.

The teams meet again at Ottawa on Thursday night.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 10 '07OTT 3 at TOR 4 - OTD. Tucker
Mar 08 '07TOR 1 at OTT 5M. Fisher
Feb 03 '07TOR 3 at OTT 2 - SOJ. Pohl
Dec 30 '06OTT 3 at TOR 2 - OTC. Phillips
Oct 26 '06TOR 2 at OTT 7D. Heatley
Oct 24 '06OTT 6 at TOR 2P. Eaves
Oct 05 '06TOR 6 at OTT 0C. Kilger
Oct 04 '06OTT 4 at TOR 1C. Neil
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
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