NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, November 16th (All times eastern)
Nashville Predators (7-5-3) at Toronto Maple Leafs (5-8-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - It has been three weeks since the Toronto Maple Leafs were last able to celebrate a victory. The Leafs will try to end that drought tonight, when they welcome the Nashville Predators to Air Canada Centre.
The Maple Leafs last won on October 26, when they beat a visiting Florida club by a 3-1 score. Toronto is just 1-8-3 since opening the season with four straight wins and the club is currently in the midst of an eight-game losing streak (0-6-2).
Toronto's last three setbacks have come in regulation and the club was dealt a 5-3 loss by a visiting Vancouver team on Saturday night. The defeat kicked off a three-game homestand for the Leafs, who have lost four straight at Air Canada Centre and are 3-4-2 as the hosts this season.
Mason Raymond scored the game-winner for the Canucks in the third period of Saturday's game.
Mikhail Grabovski had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs. Fredrik Sjostrom and Phil Kessel also lit the lamp in defeat. Jean-Sebastien Giguere turned aside 27-of-31 shots for Toronto.
Leafs prospect Nazem Kadri played in his first NHL game this season and second of his career on Saturday. Kadri, who was the seventh overall pick in the 2009 draft, had one shot on goal and logged just over 18 minutes of ice time. The 20-year-old forward is still looking for his first NHL point.
"The young guys played very well," Toronto head coach Ron Wilson said. "[Kadri] made three or four great plays that special people make. He didn't do anything that hurt us defensively."
The Predators had recently lost five straight in regulation, but have bounced back with wins in their last two outings. Both victories have come via the shootout, as Nashville earned a win Thursday in St. Louis before returning home to defeat Chicago on Saturday.
Cal O'Reilly scored the lone goal of the shootout against the Blackhawks, lifting Nashville to the 4-3 win over its division rival. Shea Weber, Shane O'Brien and Cody Franson scored in regulation for the Predators, while Pekka Rinne made 30 saves.
"It's very hard in this league when you're down. We haven't had the lead a whole lot," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. "I think we're better with the lead because we check fairly well. When you're chasing the game, trying to get it tied up, it's pretty taxing on your team mentally, but you talk about defining a backbone and finding ways to win - that's what those moments are."
Tonight's test marks the first of four straight on the road for the Preds, who are 4-4-0 as the guest this year. Trotz's team had lost four in a row away from Nashville before posting last week's win in St. Louis.
The Leafs posted a 4-3 regulation win in Nashville last year in the only meeting between the clubs in 2009-10. Toronto has won two of three and three of the last five encounters overall and the Predators have dropped three out of five at Air Canada Centre.
11/16 11:34:52 ET