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Maple Leafs, Senators Set To Renew Rivalry Saturday In Ottawa

Posted by Carter Brown on 4/18/2013 7:49:58 PM

The Battle of Ontario has been an exciting rivalry regardless of where its two teams are seeded. With the Toronto Maple Leafs and Ottawa Senators currently sitting fifth and sixth in the conference respectively, it should be that much more intense. The Maple Leafs have already clinched the season series with wins in three of the first four meetings between these teams, but with just three points separating the teams heading in to Thursday night’s action there is still something to play for. Ottawa will host its biggest rivals in another important online sports betting contest Saturday night, and it should bring out the best in both teams.

Toronto Maple Leafs @ Ottawa Senators
Saturday April 20, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
Scotiabank Place, Ottawa, Ontario
NHL Sports Betting Line: Ottawa – 130

Toronto will be heading back to the postseason for the first time in nine years and that is reason for fans to be excited, but even more impressive is the way that Ottawa has managed to stay in the fight despite so many significant injuries. Losing Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza, and Craig Anderson for most of the year was expected to cost the Senators a chance to contend, but they are right there in the thick of the playoff battle.

NHL Betting Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

The Maple Leafs have matched up well against Ottawa this season thanks in big part to their patience, as they have matched the Senators’ physical style and stayed right with them in a couple of tough defensive battles. Toronto is a team built to win low-scoring games, as they are big and strong defensively with enough talent up front to score key goals at important times. James Reimer has been excellent for the Maple Leafs of late and there is no doubt he is their starting goaltender for the postseason. Toronto is still in the hunt for fourth in the conference behind the struggling Montreal Canadiens, and would love to move in to that spot in order to open the postseason with home-ice advantage.

NHL Betting Preview: Ottawa Senators

Ottawa has managed to stay in the hunt without its two biggest stars, and the rewards from their strong play could be reaped if both Spezza and Karlsson can return for the postseason. Karlsson is already skating hard and General Manager Brian Murray has said he is close to making his return, and that would provide the team with a major spark in time for the playoffs. This Senators’ team has suffocated opponents with its strong defensive play and that is reflected by the fact that they rank second in the NHL in goals per game allowed. They have struggled against the Maple Leafs this season though, and have to find a way to keep their rivals off the board the way they have with other teams.

NHL Betting Preview: Outlook & Pick

This rivalry is more intense now than it has been in years thanks to both teams competing for a playoff spot, but Toronto has held the edge so far this season and it’s unlikely that will change. The Senators have had a tough time dealing with the Maple Leafs’ physical play and the intensity of the online betting rivalry has caused them to veer away from their own game plan at times, and that could be the case again as Toronto looks to make it four of five in the Battle of Ontario.

NHL Betting Pick: Toronto Maple Leafs

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