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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, December 27th (All times eastern)

Toronto Maple Leafs (13-17-9) at Pittsburgh Penguins (26-11-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Pittsburgh Penguins will shoot for a seventh win in eight games when they welcome the Toronto Maple Leafs for tonight's clash at Mellon Arena.

The Penguins had won five straight before getting dealt a 4-0 loss by Atlantic Division rivals New Jersey on Monday night. Pittsburgh was able to rebound in a big way on Wednesday, however, as it slammed the visiting Senators by an 8-2 margin.

Evgeni Malkin recorded a hat trick, while Bill Guerin and Chris Kunitz each had four points to lead the Pens to the easy win over the Senators.

Guerin scored two power-play goals and collected two assists and Kunitz registered a goal and three helpers for the Penguins. Sergei Gonchar had a goal and two assists, and Marc-Andre Fleury made 45 saves for Pittsburgh.

"We wanted to respond and rebound from (the loss to New Jersey)," said Pittsburgh forward Sidney Crosby. "(Fleury) played well and we capitalized on a lot of chances."

Pittsburgh comes into tonight tied with idle New Jersey for first place in the Atlantic Division.

This evening's test marks the final portion of a three-game homestand for the Penguins, who are 13-6-1 as the host this year. Pittsburgh will begin a four-game road trip Tuesday in Buffalo.

The Maple Leafs were dealt a third straight loss Saturday night, as they fell to the visiting Montreal Canadiens. The loss did come after regulation, however, giving Toronto a point for the third time in four games (1-1-2).

Jaroslav Halak made 47 saves and Andrei Kostitsyn scored the game-winner just 34 seconds into overtime to lift Toronto's hated rivals to the 3-2 victory at Air Canada Centre.

Ian White and Jason Blake tallied a goal apiece for the Maple Leafs, while Jonas Gustavsson made 20 saves in defeat.

In addition to stopping a three-game overall skid, the Leafs will also try to put the breaks on a four-game road losing streak tonight. Toronto is 6-9-4 as the guest this year and hasn't won on the road since beating Columbus on December 3.

Pittsburgh posted a 5-2 win in Toronto on October 10 to halt a three-game losing streak in the series. The Leafs have still won five of eight overall against the Pens, but Toronto has lost four of its last six in the Steel City.

12/27 11:01:29 ET


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