Toronto Maple Leafs Head to Ottawa to Start 5 Game Road Trip

The Toronto Maple Leafs will travel to Ottawa for a Saturday night game against the Senators which will be their third contest this season against their divisional rivals.

The game will be the first of five consecutive games on the road that will also take the Toronto Maple Leafs through Long Island, Florida, Carolina and Nashville.

The Leafs were able to avoid a three game losing streak by defeating the Hurricanes on Friday night, thanks to a pair of goals from Zach Aston-Reese who is now two goals shy from tying his career best nine he scored back in 2020-21 with the Penguins.

The game against the Senators will be the first time the two teams have met since one of the most embarrassing efforts the Toronto Maple Leafs have had this season when they were taken down by Ottawa in late January.

Toronto Maple Leafs vs Ottawa Senators

The Leafs never led during the game, but found themselves tied 2-2 midway through the second, however Ottawa would score four straight games to finish out the contest and win 6-2.

The club was without Auston Matthews for the game and Matt Murray was a late scratch which meant Ilya Samsonov was thrown into net last minute.

The two teams also met in the first week of the season where the Leafs needed a late third period goal by Justin Holl to take their first lead of the game to win it 3-2.

Mark Masters reported after Friday night’s game against the Hurricanes that Noel Acciari who played just over five minutes and left during the first period would not travel with the team to Ottawa.

Acciari was injured by a careless, but unintentional hit by Jesse Puljujarvi after he took contact to the head.

Sheldon Keefe had been deploying seven defense and 11 forwards recently and had to get through the remainder of the game with just ten forwards.  Keefe stated before the game that he was planning to go back to the common six defense and 12 forwards in the Ottawa game, however he have to remain with the 11/7 as they are down Acciari.

The club does have Alex Steeves and Wayne Simmonds with the club currently, so both could potentially get into the line-up. They have also recalled Joseph Woll and Bobby McMann.  

I don’t know if McMann will dress tonight, but Woll will back-up Murray.  Ilya Samsonov is staying in Toronto to be with his wife who is expecting a baby.

Whipping boy Justin Holl was a healthy scratch for Friday’s game, but you can expect with him being one of Keefe’s favorites, he’ll draw back into the game Saturday.

Mitch Marner will look to extend his point scoring streak to six games and he currently has ten points in his last five games; and he has 13 points in eight contests since the start of March.  After being held pointless on Wednesday, Auston Matthews scored his fourth goal in five games after going through a stretch of scoring in just one of his previous eight games.

He is now up to 32 goals on the season as he makes a late charge for his fourth consecutive 40-goal season and the fifth of his career.  Matthews is currently tied with Darryl Sittler with the most 40-goal seasons in franchise history with four.