NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, January 23rd (All times eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (17-25-10) at Florida Panthers (21-21-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs and Panthers will both be trying to avoid three-game losing streaks when Florida hosts the Leafs tonight at BankAtlantic Center.
Florida has dropped two in a row on the heels of a three-game winning streak, while the Maple Leafs, in addition to losing two straight, have also suffered defeats in three of four and seven of their last nine tests.
Toronto has the edge so far in the season series as it has taken the first two of four meetings with the Panthers this year. Florida has still won five of eight overall, but the Leafs have come out on top in four of their last six games in Sunrise.
The Leafs are 1-3-0 on a five-game road trip that ends tonight and Toronto is just 8-15-5 as the visiting team this season. Ron Wilson's club was on the wrong end of a close loss the last time out, as Tampa Bay edged the Maple Leafs, 3-2, in overtime. Martin St. Louis scored on a power play with 9.8 seconds left in OT to give the Lightning the extra point.
Ian White and Matt Stajan scored power-play goals for the Maple Leafs, who received a 29-save effort from Jonas Gustavsson.
The Maple Leafs were coming down on a 2-on-1 break with the seconds winding down in the extra session, but the play was stopped short due to the visitors having too many men on the ice with 43.1 seconds to play.
"It was the right call. The guy wasn't off the ice when we touched the puck. That's a standard rule," Leafs head coach Ron Wilson said.
On the ensuing power play, St. Louis let a one-timer fly from the top of the left circle over Gustavsson's right shoulder for the deciding goal.
Gustavsson is expected to get the start again tonight for Toronto.
Despite losing their last two games, Florida has a 4-1-2 record in its last seven tests and is coming off a shootout loss against the New York Islanders on Thursday. Rob Schremp and Matt Moulson both beat Tomas Vokoun to the glove side in the shootout, leading the host Islanders to a 2-1 decision at Nassau Coliseum.
Nathan Horton tallied for the Panthers but exited late in the third with an injury to his left leg. Horton, who leads Florida with 46 points this year, is questionable for tonight's game.
Vokoun turned away 35-of-36 shots before stopping just 1-of-3 in the shootout, his sixth straight shootout defeat.
The Panthers, who are 9-8-6 as the host this year, are kicking off a two-game homestand tonight and will play five of their next six games on home ice.
01/23 10:53:22 ET