NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, December 16th
(All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (19-12-2) at Toronto Maple Leafs (12-14-7), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will aim to close out a three-game
homestand perfect this evening, when they take on the Phoenix Coyotes at Air
The Maple Leafs have yet to win three straight games this season, but can do
so tonight after defeating the Senators, 3-2, on Monday. That victory was
Toronto's sixth in its last eight games and fourth straight at home. The Maple
Leafs are now 6-7-3 as the host this year.
Francois Beauchemin had the game-winner in the third period on Monday, Jason
Blake added a goal and an assist and Phil Kessel also lit the lamp. Vesa
Toskala ended with 22 saves.
"It's a big win for us [Monday night]. We keep the streak going on home ice.
Basically everyone is happy," Toronto forward Alexei Ponikarovsky said.
Toronto, which began the season with eight straight losses and setbacks in 12
of its first 13 games, has scored at least three goals in six of its eight
contests this month. The Maple Leafs are now just two points back of the
Canadiens for fourth place in the Northeast Division.
The Coyotes have lost two of three since a five-game winning streak and was
handed a 3-2 defeat by the Red Wings on Monday. Ilya Bryzgalov allowed three
goals and made 29 saves in his 13th straight start, marking the first time he
gave up more than a pair of goals in a game since November 23.
Radim Vrbata scored for a third straight contest to up his team-leading goal
total to 10, while Taylor Pyatt scored for the fourth time in six games.
"We're disappointed with the way we played," captain Shane Doan said. "We give
them credit, they've got a good team. But we didn't play up to our standards
of what we think we're capable of for the whole 60 minutes."
Returning from a two-game suspension, Ed Jovanovski had two assists.
Phoenix lost the opener of a four-game road trip and fell to 7-7-2 as the
guest. The Coyotes have lost five of their last six on the road.
However, they have not lost to the Maple Leafs since October 23, 2003, winning
all three meetings since. They also snapped a five-game skid in Toronto with a
victory there on January 14, 2006.
12/16 10:55:30 ET