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4:30 PM PT5:30 PM MT6:30 PM CT7:30 PM ET0:30 GMT8:30 5:30 PM MST7:30 PM EST4:30 UAE (+1)19:30 ETNaN:� BRT, February 6, 2019
Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario  Attendance: 19,264

Struggling Senators visit blossoming Maple Leafs

Ottawa Senators at Toronto Maple Leafs

  1. The Senators were shut out by Detroit on Saturday night in Ottawa for their fourth straight loss (0-4-0). They've been held to three goals or fewer in each of those four losses and are 4-23-5 this season when scoring three goals or fewer, the worst record in the NHL. Toronto is second-worst at 5-17-2.
  2. Mark Stone has 29 points (10g, 19a) in 20 career games against the Maple Leafs, including a five-point effort on February 18, 2017 in Toronto. His 1.45 points per game against Toronto ranks third among active skaters (minimum 10 games), behind only Evgeni Malkin (1.68) and Patrick Kane (1.56).
  3. Ottawa got a 5-3 win in Toronto on October 6, both teams' second game of the season. The Sens are 6-1-0 on the road against the Leafs since the 2015-16 season, and 10-3-0 overall.
  4. The Maple Leafs beat the Ducks, 6-1, at home on Monday, their second six-goal game in their last four. They've scored six or more goals eight times this season, and 18 times over the last two -- that's tied with the Avalanche for the second most in the NHL since the start of last season (Lightning, 22).
  5. Andreas Johnsson scored two goals and added two assists on Monday against the Ducks, joining Connor Brown in November 2016 as the only Toronto rookies in the last 30 seasons to tally multiple goals and multiple assists in a game.
  6. Toronto has held the lead for 38.9 percent of game time this season, third most in the NHL (Tampa Bay, 42.6; Washington, 40.6). Ottawa, on the other hand, has trailed for 39.5 percent of game time this season, third most in the NHL (Chicago, 40.9; New Jersey, 39.9).

The Ottawa Senators will visit the Toronto Maple Leafs Wednesday night in the next episode of what has become known as the Battle of Ontario.

As far as the league standings are concerned, it is no contest.

The Senators (19-28-5, 43 points), losers of four in a row, rank 31st overall in the NHL, while the Maple Leafs (32-17-3, 67) are second in the Eastern Conference.

"It's not fun," Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki said. "This is my city, my team, I grew up here, and it sucks being around town when you're in last place. You don't like talking about it or making excuses for it, but there's no one to blame but ourselves in here. As an organization, we all need to be better. The challenge now, going forward, is what do we do to make us better as a team and as an organization?"

The Senators visit Scotiabank Arena after losing 2-0 to the Detroit Red Wings at home on Saturday.

There is a different atmosphere around the Maple Leafs, who defeated the listless Anaheim Ducks 6-1 in Toronto on Monday.

They announced big news Tuesday with the signing of center Auston Matthews to a five-year, $58.17 million deal, making the 21-year-old the second-highest-paid player in the NHL ($11.634 million annually) behind only Edmonton's Connor McDavid ($12.5 million). Matthews' teammate, John Tavares, now ranks third on that list at $11 million.

The Leafs have also been bolstered by a trade with the Los Angeles Kings that brought them defenseman Jake Muzzin, who has impressed in his first three games, which included a one-goal-two-assists performance Monday.

"He's really good in his own zone, denies the back, makes a good outlet pass, he's a big body and plays real hard between the whistles," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "Obviously, with his experience and the kind of man he is, he's going to make us a better team."

The Senators have won the only meeting between the teams this season, 5-3 in Toronto on Oct. 6.

They have been going in opposite directions since.

"It's been a frustrating year," Senators center Zack Smith told the Ottawa Sun. "They talked about rebuilding right from the start, but we wanted to be in the mix at this time of the year, and we're quite a ways out. It's tough. Everyone wants to do better. When the team is doing well, guys are personally doing well, so when you're losing as many games as we have, it's tough on everyone."

The Senators have 30 games remaining to extract something from the season.

"There's a lot of hockey, we've just got to work on getting better and coming together as a team," Smith said. "It's different than last year. I think that management likes the group we have here and we know we can do some good things moving forward."

The final two meetings in the season series between the Senators and the Maple Leafs will be played in Ottawa on March 16 and 30.

By then, the Maple Leafs know they will be gearing up for what they hope is a long playoff run as they pursue their first Stanley Cup championship since 1967.

Muzzin knows what it is like to win the Cup with the Kings and can contribute to the Maple Leafs in many ways, including body checking and his shooting ability.

He stirred the crowd Monday with a big hit on Anaheim's Corey Perry near the end of the second period. Muzzin drew a retaliatory cross-checking penalty as a result from Nick Ritchie. On the ensuing power play, Muzzin scored his first goal as a Maple Leaf on a slap shot from the point.

Maple Leafs left winger Andreas Johnsson, who had two goals and two assists Mondays, appreciates the impact Muzzin can have.

"It's huge, you have a couple big hits now in the beginning and it's going to create space for skilled guys," Johnsson said. "I think that was a part we didn't have before, and he's been doing a great job since coming here so far."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 5, 2019

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