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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, February 21st (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (29-24-6-2) at Toronto Maple Leafs (33-16-9-3), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - One of the fiercest rivalries in the National Hockey League resumes this evening when the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Montreal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre.

The Maple Leafs are coming off an overtime victory in Carolina on Thursday. Darcy Tucker scored 2:18 into the extra session to lift Toronto to a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes at RBC Center.

Bryan McCabe also scored and Mikael Tellqvist made 34 saves, helping the Maple Leafs improve to 6-0-1 in their last seven road games. Tellqvist, a third- string goaltender, is now 4-0-2 this season. Two of his wins have come against Carolina.

Toronto played its fourth straight game without starting netminder Ed Belfour, who has a sore back. He could return as early as tonight.

Toronto's Alexander Mogilny returned to action for the Leafs after going down in November with a hip injury that required surgery. He had one shot on goal in just over 13 minutes of ice time.

The Maple Leafs, with 78 points, moved one ahead of Ottawa and Boston in the Northeast Division standings. Pat Quinn's club is tied with Philadelphia atop the Eastern Conference.

The Habs, meanwhile, are coming off a 4-1 win over Calgary on Thursday. Pierre Dagenais snapped a tie in the second period and added an empty-net goal late in the game, leading Montreal to victory at the Bell Centre.

Patrice Brisebois and Niklas Sundstrom also scored for the Canadiens, who snapped a four-game losing streak. Mathieu Garon made 19 saves to win his fourth-straight start since late December.

The Canadiens, who avenged a 2-1 loss to the Flames on November 20, improved to 9-4-2 in their last 15 games overall.

Andrei Markov and Michael Ryder each picked up two assists for the Canadiens, who are tied with the NY Islanders for seventh in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Toronto is 3-1 against Montreal this season, including three straight victories. The Leafs are 6-2-2 in the last 10 clashes overall.

02/21 10:11:55 ET

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