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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, January 30th (All times eastern)

Toronto Maple Leafs (24-22-4) at Florida Panthers (20-24-8), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs hope to end an eight-game skid tonight when they visit the Florida Panthers at the BankAtlantic Center.

The Leafs, who begin a three-game road trip with this evening's tilt, have not won since January 7 against Edmonton. On Saturday they dropped a 4-3 overtime tilt to visiting Montreal -- securing their first point of the slide. Saku Koivu scored in OT to lift the Canadiens.

Ken Klee, Darcy Tucker and Alexander Khavanov scored for the Maple Leafs, who have lost eight straight for the first time since February 16-March 3, 1996. Mikael Tellqvist stopped 16 shots in the loss for Toronto.

Toronto could receive some good news in the near future, as defenseman Bryan McCabe is close to returning from a slight groin tear that has sidelined him for the last eight contests. McCabe could return as early as this evening.

The Maple Leafs, who are 9-13-2 on the road, will visit Tampa on Tuesday.

Florida, meanwhile, has won two of its last three games. On Friday, Roberto Luongo made 22 saves to record his 26th shutout and 100th NHL victory, as the Panthers blanked the New Jersey Devils, 4-0, in Sunrise.

Martin Gelinas, Olli Jokinen and Jozef Stumpel each recorded a goal and an assist for Florida.

Jokinen has three goals and three assists in his last three games.

Florida, which is 14-6-4 on home ice, will host Atlanta on Friday.

Toronto is 2-0 against Florida this season and is 4-1-1 (1 loss, 1 tie) in the last six meetings.

01/30 10:20:07 ET


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