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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 29th (All times eastern)

Toronto Maple Leafs (21-7-6-3) at Florida Panthers (12-16-7-2), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs, two nights after having their 16- game point streak halted, try to rebound when they visit the Florida Panthers at Office Depot Center.

Entering Saturday's contest on Long Island, the Leafs had won three straight and were 14-0-1-1 in their last 16 tries. But the Islanders ended the momentum and handed then a 3-1 defeat at Nassau Coliseum.

Darcy Tucker scored the lone Toronto goal at 15:39 of the first period, while netminder Ed Belfour finished with 25 saves. Joe Nieuwendyk assisted on Tucker's goal and has two goals and five assists in the last five games.

The point streak by the Maple Leafs matched the 2000-01 Avalanche and 1999-2000 Devils for the longest runs since the inception of the current overtime point system.

Toronto, with 51 points, still leads the NHL's overall standings -- two ahead of Detroit. The Leafs top the Eastern Conference by three over Philadelphia, and the Northeast Division by nine above Ottawa.

Pat Quinn's club, 7-1-1 in its last nine road tilts, play the third of a four- game trek tonight and will visit Boston on Thursday.

Florida, meanwhile, ended a two-game losing skid with Saturday's 3-2 win over visiting Anaheim. Olli Jokinen's goal midway through the third period helped the Panthers rally from a two-goal deficit en route to the decision. The goal was just his second in the last 13 games.

Roberto Luongo stopped 32 shots for the Panthers, who are 3-4-5-2 in their last 14 games. Matt Cullen and Marcus Nilson also tallied.

The Panthers, 3-0-2 in their last five at home, will visit Tampa Bay on Wednesday.

The Leafs posted a 5-2 home win over Florida last Tuesday and are 2-1-1 in the last four meetings. Toronto is 4-1-1 in its last six trips to Sunrise.

12/29 10:11:12 ET

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