NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 8th
(All times eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (29-28-9) at New York Islanders (25-32-10), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to bounce back from their
first regulation loss in weeks when they visit the New York Islanders tonight
at Nassau Coliseum.
The Maple Leafs were handed a 5-3 setback by the visiting Chicago Blackhawks
on Saturday. The loss was the first in regulation for Toronto since Feb. 12,
as the Leafs fell to 6-1-3 over their last 10 games.
With 67 points, Toronto is still very much alive in the Eastern Conference
playoff race and enter's today trailing Buffalo by five points for the East's
final postseason spot. The Maple Leafs have missed the playoffs in each of the
past five springs, setting a club record for postseason droughts.
The Islanders are 2-0-2 in their last four games, but they are also seven
points behind Toronto in the East standings.
Tonight's test marks the final meeting between Toronto and the Islanders this
season. The Leafs have won the last two encounters after dropping the opener
of the season series, but New York has still won four of seven overall.
Toronto, which is 14-16-2 on the road this season, has lost six of its last
nine games on Long Island.
The Maple Leafs fell behind 3-0 in the first period of Saturday's loss to the
visiting Blackhawks. Luke Schenn, Joffrey Lupul and Joey Crabb all lit the
lamp for the Maple Leafs, who had a two-game win streak halted.
James Reimer surrendered five goals on just 19 shots in the first two periods
before getting pulled. Jean-Sebastien Giguere came in to make six saves in the
final 20 minutes.
Reimer is expected to get the start tonight after what was one of the roughest
outings of the rookie's brief career. The 22-year-old is 2-0 with a 2.00
goals-against average in two appearance against the Islanders, both of which
came this year.
The Islanders were dealt a shootout loss Sunday, as Brian Rolston scored in
the sixth round of the deciding phase to lift the Devils to the 3-2 win at the
After Matt Martin was stopped by Martin Brodeur, Rolston skated down the
middle and moved to the left before snapping the puck past Al Montoya for the
win. Montoya made 27 stops in the loss.
Josh Bailey and Blake Comeau each had a goal for the Islanders, who had also
won two in a row before Sunday's setback.
"The guys played great in front of me and made it pretty simple," said
Montoya. "You've gotta like the effort out there, but it still would have been
nice to get the two points."
New York is 2-0-1 so far on a five-game homestand that is set to end Friday
against Boston. The Isles are 14-15-5 on Long Island this season.
03/08 11:03:19 ET