NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, March 14th (All times eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (23-33-12) at New York Islanders (27-32-9), 5 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to stretch their longest winning streak of the season to four games this evening when they visit the New York Islanders in a matchup of the two bottom teams in the Eastern Conference.
Toronto heads to New York's Nassau Coliseum after completing a perfect three- game homestand to give the club its first three-game win streak of the season. The Maple Leafs capped the residency with a 6-4 victory over the Oilers last night.
Phil Kessel scored a pair of power-play goals to go along with an assist, while Tyler Bozak added a goal and two helpers. Nikolai Kulemin scored and had an assist and both Mikhail Grabovski and Jamie Lundmark lit the lamp, while Jonas Gustavsson made 25 saves.
"We're just trying to keep it simple, play a basic hockey game," Leafs defenseman Tomas Kaberle said after his club went 3-for-8 on the man advantage. "Finally we used some power plays today and scored more goals."
One day after defeating the worst team in the Western Conference, the Maple Leafs visit the Islanders, who are 14th out of 15 teams in the East. Toronto, of course, is 15th and trails New York by five points in the standings.
Toronto has lost eight of its last nine on the road (1-5-3) and should turn to Jean-Sebastien Giguere in net tonight. The former Anaheim netminder has yet to face the Islanders this year and is 1-1-1 with a tie and 2.69 goals-against average versus them lifetime.
While the Islanders don't have a winning streak like the Maple Leafs, they do have a big victory under their belt. New York snapped a four-game skid last night with a 4-2 victory over the Devils, denying New Jersey a share of the Atlantic Division lead.
Freddy Meyer, Jon Sim and Mark Streit all scored for the Islanders and Dwayne Roloson stopped 38 shots for the win.
The Islanders put themselves in a hole midway through the third when defenseman Dylan Reese took a double-minor for high sticking with his club up by just a goal. However, Sean Bergenheim finished off a 2-on-1 break with Blake Comeau with a short-handed tally for a two-goal advantage.
"It was a big play," said Comeau. "They were down a goal and they were on a four-minute power play. Our penalty killing was great tonight."
It is unknown who will start in net tonight for the Islanders, who are 1-0-1 on a three-game homestand. Roloson entered the season just 1-6-0 versus the Maple Leafs, but has won two of three versus them this year while posting a 2.29 goals-against average. Martin Biron, meanwhile, is 11-11-3 with a pair of ties and 2.82 GAA versus them in his career.
Roloson's two victories over the Leafs this year includes a 58-save effort back on Nov. 23, a 4-3 overtime triumph, and after a loss at Toronto in early December, he turned aside 26 shots in a 3-1 home triumph on Dec. 23.
The Islanders have won five of their last seven at home over the Maple Leafs.
03/14 10:31:09 ET