[7:07 PM] Maple Leafs @ Senators

Who will WIN this matchup?

Toronto Maple Leafs

@ Ottawa Senators


Starting Goalies:

Frederik Andersen (TOR): Confirmed

Craig Anderson (OTT): Confirmed


Current odds:

Toronto Maple Leafs: (+120)

Ottawa Senators: (-140)


Dion Phaneuf has skated along both sides of the Battle of Ontario, having served as the captain of the Toronto Maple Leafs before being traded to the Ottawa Senators last season. Top overall pick Auston Matthews will receive his first taste of the bitter rivalry on Wednesday as the provincial rivals drop the puck to open the NHL season in Canada’s capital city.

Frederik Andersen signed a five-year contract and looks to provide stability in net after posting a 22-9-7 mark with a 2.30 goals-against average in 43 games last season with Anaheim to share the Jennings Trophy with John Gibson. Jhonas Enroth will give Toronto a sorely needed veteran backup as the two are expected to allow Toronto’s goaltending prospects time to develop in the minors. Restricted free agents Nazem Kadri (team-leading 45 points) and defenseman Morgan Rielly showed their willingness to stay the course in the rebuilding project by each signing a six-year contract.

Boucher, who is Ottawa’s seventh coach in nine years, will attempt to tighten the reins on a permissive defense that allowed a league-high 32.8 shots per game last season while the special teams play (26th-ranked power play, 29th-ranked penalty kill) left plenty to be desired. Goaltender Craig Anderson (31-25-3) will be tested from the get-go while veteran Derick Brassard (27 goals, 31 assists) – who was acquired from the New York Rangers – will join Mike Hoffman (team-leading 29 goals), Zack Smith (career-high 25 tallies) and Mark Stone (61 points) on an offense that finished ninth in the league (2.8 goals per game). Two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson (82 points) is never shy about lending a hand on the offensive end, but Bobby Ryan struggled down the stretch as Ottawa fell short of a playoff appearance.

Ottawa was plagued by slow starts in 2015-16, surrendering the first goal in 51 of 82 games.

Maple Leafs C Leo Komarov had a career-best 19 goals and 36 points last season, but has just one tally and three points in 12 career encounters with the Senators.

Ottawa F Curtis Lazar (mononucleosis) will begin the season with Binghamton of the American Hockey League, the team announced on Tuesday.


StreakSmarts Pick: Ottawa Senators

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick