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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 8th (All times eastern)

New York Islanders (10-14-2) at Toronto Maple Leafs (9-12-6), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of last-place clubs will meet this evening in Toronto, as the Maple Leafs host the New York Islanders for a matchup at Air Canada Centre.

The Islanders are last in the Atlantic Division with 22 points, while Toronto has 24 points and is tied with Ottawa for the bottom spot in the Northeast.

Toronto has dropped three straight games and was handed a close loss on Saturday by the visiting Washington Capitals. Milan Jurcina's third-period goal was the difference, as the Caps edged the Leafs, 2-1.

Nik Antropov was the lone goal-scorer for Toronto, which has lost eight of its last 10 games. Vesa Toskala allowed two goals on 30 shots in taking the loss.

The Maple Leafs have dropped four of their last five contests at home and are just 4-5-4 as the host team this season.

New York, meanwhile, has lost two straight and four of its last five contests. The Isles have been outscored by a 10-2 margin in their last two outings and were handed their most recent setback Saturday against visiting Atlanta.

Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and two assists in leading the Thrashers to the 5-1 rout of the Islanders at Nassau Coliseum.

Bill Guerin had the lone goal for the Islanders, while Joey MacDonald allowed all five goals on 17 shots faced.

MacDonald, the NHL's Third Star for the month of November, has given up four or more goals in four of his last five starts.

Tonight's test marks the opener of a four-game road trip for the Islanders, who are 5-6-1 as the visiting club this year. Beginning with tonight's tilt, New York will play six of its next seven games on the road.

The Islanders have won five of the last seven meetings against the Maple Leafs and have taken two of three in Toronto.

12/08 10:36:42 ET


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