(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators hope their magical run isn't coming to a premature end as they attempt to get back on track Saturday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Both the Senators and goaltender Andrew Hammond saw their respective runs end with Thursday's 5-1 loss to the Eastern Conference-leading New York Rangers. Ottawa had a seven-game winning streak halted and Hammond lost his first game in regulation of his career, falling to 14-1-1.
Hammond yielded five goals on 22 shots and was removed in favor of Chris Driedger late in the second period. Driedger made 10 saves in his NHL debut.
"They came in and did exactly what they wanted to do," said Hammond, who had posted a 1.58 goals against average in 15 outings filling in for the injured Craig Anderson and Robin Lehner. "If you're not ready to play, you're going to get exposed, and I thought we did tonight."
Curtis Lazar scored a first-period goal for the Sens, who lost for just the third time in regulation over their past 22 games (17-3-2).
The Senators and Boston Bruins both have 85 points on the season, but Ottawa holds the current tiebreaker for the second wild card spot in the East as it has played one fewer game than Boston. The Florida Panthers are three points off the pace and the Sens host the Panthers on Sunday.
Goaltending could become an issue for the Sens though. Lehner remains out with a concussion and Hammond admitted he is dealing with an injury suffered in Monday's win over San Jose.
Craig Anderson briefly returned to the lineup recently from a bruised hand, but has again dealing with the injury. He did skate with the club on Friday and was expected to make the trip to Toronto as he is close to returning.
Whoever gets the call in net will square off against a Maple Leafs club that has lost seven in a row. That rut was extended with Thursday's 4-1 loss to the Panthers.
Jonathan Bernier started in net for Toronto but was pulled in the second period after surrendering three goals on 16 shots. James Reimer made 11 saves in relief.
The first career NHL goal by Sam Carrick was all the offense mustered by the Maple Leafs. Carrick, playing in his 14th NHL game, scored off a feed from Morgan Rielly at 9:13 of the third period.
Forward Nazem Kadri is eligible to return to Toronto's lineup tonight as he finished serving a four-game ban for an illegal elbow delivered versus Edmonton on March 16.
Reimer, meanwhile, will get the start in Toronto's third contest of a four- game homestand. He is a solid 10-3-1 with a 2.33 GAA, .934 save percentage and three shutouts in 16 career meetings with the Sens.
However, Reimer was lifted early in a 5-3 loss in Ottawa last Saturday, giving up three goals on 18 shots in 23:09 of action. Bernier stopped 21-of-22 shots in relief.
Kyle Turris had two goals, Lazar scored and Hammond made 22 saves as the Sens beat the Leafs for the third time in the last four matchups. They have lost four in a row at Toronto, though.