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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, November 15th (All times Eastern)

Phoenix Coyotes (8-4-3) at Toronto Maple Leafs (10-6-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will try to avoid their fourth loss in five games when they welcome the Phoenix Coyotes for tonight's battle at Air Canada Centre.

The Maple Leafs have dropped three of their last four games and have been outscored 19-6 during that stretch. Toronto was handed a 5-2 loss in its most recent outing, a home loss in Saturday's matchup with the rival Ottawa Senators.

Joffrey Lupul and Tyler Bozak scored, while Ben Scrivens made 19 saves in defeat for the Leafs.

"I made some mistakes, but I'm going to learn from them and get better," said Scrivens following his fourth career start.

Scrivens has started the last two games after taking over for Jonas Gustavsson in a 5-1 loss to Florida on Nov. 8. Gustavsson is 4-4-0 with a 3.78 goals- against average this year, but with No. 1 netminder James Reimer still out with a head/neck issue, the Swede could get the start tonight.

Toronto is hoping to have centerman Tim Connolly (upper body) back this week and he is questionable for tonight's contest. Connolly was signed to a two- year, $9.5 million deal this summer, but he missed the start of the season due to injury and he has one goal and three assists in just six games. He played his first game of the year on Oct. 27 before suffering his current injury on Nov. 5.

The Leafs are 5-3-1 as the host this season and they have been outscored 17-3 in losing their last three games on home ice.

Meanwhile, Phoenix improved to 4-1-1 as the road club this season after notching a shutout win Saturday in San Jose. That game kicked off a five-game road trip for the Coyotes, who will also make stops in Philadelphia, Buffalo and Washington during this swing.

Mike Smith posted his first shutout of the season with 31 saves to carry the Coyotes over the Sharks, 3-0. Smith has been terrific this season for Phoenix, posting a 2.22 goals-against average and a .931 save percentage while going 7-2-3.

"Our [defense] was fantastic," Smith said humbly. "We deserved to win tonight."

Radim Vrbata, Boyd Gordon and Patrick O'Sullivan all scored for Phoenix, which has suffered just one regulation loss over its last nine games (6-1-2).

The Coyotes have played the last two games without veteran center Daymond Langkow, who left the team last week to deal with a death in the family. Langkow, who has three goals and five assists this year, is expected to make his return to the ice tonight.

Phoenix has fared well in recent years against the Leafs, winning five straight meetings since Toronto last won on Oct. 23, 2003 in the desert. The Coyotes have won their last two at Air Canada Centre.

11/15 10:34:03 ET

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