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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, December 31st (All times eastern)

Toronto Maple Leafs (21-14-3) at New Jersey Devils (16-17-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Toronto Maple Leafs seek their season-high fifth consecutive win tonight when they visit the New Jersey Devils at Continental Airlines Arena.

On Thursday, Alexei Ponikarovsky and Mats Sundin each scored in the shootout to lift the Maple Leafs over the Buffalo Sabres, 4-3, at Air Canada Centre.

Ponikarovsky also scored a goal in regulation for the Leafs, who blew a pair of leads in the game but recovered to win their fourth straight contest. Bryan McCabe and Darcy Tucker also scored goals for Toronto, which improved to 6-2 in its last eight games overall.

Tucker has a six-game point streak intact, having posted three goals and four assists during the tear.

Toronto enters Saturday's action third in the Northeast Division with 45 points -- 12 behind first-place Ottawa.

The Leafs, who are 7-7-2 on the road, will host Pittsburgh on Monday.

New Jersey, meanwhile, has lost four of its last five games. On Thursday the Devils were pounded, 6-2, by Pittsburgh at Mellon Arena. Sidney Crosby had two goals and an assist to lift the Pens.

Scott Gomez scored two goals and Scott Clemmensen stopped 19-of-25 shots for New Jersey.

The Devils had hoped to have star winger Patrik Elias in the lineup for the first time this season by today, but he is not expected to be on the ice this evening. Elias, who has been recovering from Hepatitis A, is slated to participate in a few more practices with the team before taking part in game action.

New Jersey, which is 10-6-3 on home ice, opens a three-game set tonight and will host Florida on Tuesday.

The Maple Leafs defeated the Devils, 2-1, on Monday in Toronto and have won two straight meetings in the series.

12/31 10:24:50 ET

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