The Belleville Senators hold a playoff spot by itself and look to maintain it tonight when they host the Laval Rocket at CAA Arena.
Belleville (31-25-3-4) sits fourth in the North Division and leads Utica by two points for the final playoff spot in the division. The Sens trail Toronto by five points for third place.
Laval (25-27-6-4) are seventh in the North Division and trail Belleville by nine points and have played one less game than their Canadian rivals.
The Sens’ 200 goals are tied for the fifth most in the Eastern Conference while Laval’s 164 goals are the third fewest in the AHL.
Sens defencemen Erik Brannstrom and Cody Goloubef were recalled by Ottawa Thursday. The team did sign blueliner Miles Gendron out of UConn but he isn’t joining the team until the 2019-20 season.
No official word on who starts for Belleville but Marcus Hogberg seems destined to start his 13th straight game for the Sens.
Andrew Sturtz, Max Lajoie and Morgan Klimchuk are out for Belleville.
The Senators are 6-4 against Laval this season and are 4-0 at CAA Arena against their Quebec rivals. The Sens don’t make any more trips to Laval this season having gone 2-4 inside Place Bell this year.
Who to watch
Nick Paul buried the game-winner Monday for Belleville in Toronto as part of a three-point night and he has 31 points (14 goals) in 30 games this year. His career high in goals is 15, set in 2016-17.
Rookie defenceman Cale Fleury, the brother of Carolina’s Haydn Fleury, is second in scoring for Laval defenceman this season with 17 points (six goals) in 46 games.
Where to watch
Friday’s game starts at 7:00pm and can also be seen on AHLTV as well as Facebook Watch. Fans can also watch tonight’s contest at Shoeless Joe’s in Belleville.
The radio broadcast on CJBQ 800 begins at 6:50pm with Jack Miller on the call and Paul Svoboda on colour.