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Gameday #35: Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Florida Panthers

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Toronto, having won 3 games in a row (after losing 7 straight) host the Florida Panthers tonight in a mtachup that could see them close in on home-ice advantage in the Eastern Conference (7:30PMET).

The Leafs toppled the New York Rangers by a shocking 9-2 margin, and Rangers netminder Henrik Lundqvist was in net to allow 8 of the 9 goals scored against.

Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky both had a career high of 5 points each (Wellwood: 3G, 2A, Ponikarovsky: 2G, 3A), and defenceman Carlo Colaiacovo had hos first goal of the season, and first since a concussion suffered in January put him out of the lineup until his return last week.

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Darcy Tucjer, Jeff O'Neill, and John Pohl tallied the other goals for the Leafs, who are now 8th in the Eastern Conference and 3rd in their division with 37 points and a 16-3-5 record.

Maple Leafs' Goaltender Andrew Raycroft stopped 11 of a low 13 shots from the Rangers, and is now 14-10-3 after 27 games, and has a 2.94 Goals Against Average and .898 Save Percentage.

Darcy Tucker who leads the Leafs in goals with 19 (a League leading 13 on the Powerplay), and is tied with Kyle Wellwood for the team lead in points with 31 in 34 games played, was injured on a blast from Brenden Shanahan in the Toronto's previous game against the Rangers Saturday, but is not expected to miss any game time due to it.

Darcy Tucker said:
''It's sore right now, but I'm not worried. Personally, I don't think it's going to be as bad as I thought it would be when I got hit. It wasn't worth me going back into an 8-1 game.''
The return will mark Ed Belfour's first start in Toronto since being let go of last off season. the Eagle's tema has been struggling of late going 3-5-2 in their last 10 games.

Ollie Jokinen leads the team in goals with 14, and in points with 34 in 35 games.

After 18 games played, Ed Belfour, who for the most part was deemed as the back-up in Florida to Alex Auld, through games, and has a 2.83 Goals Against Average and .895 Save Percentage. He is 5-8-2 through that span.

Alex Auld is 6-10-4 after 21 games and has a 3.16 Goals against Average and .898 Save Percentage.

Florida is 14th in the East with an 11-18-6 record after 35 games. They are also last in Southeast Divison with 28 points, trailing the struggling Tampa Bay Lightning by 2 points.

This is the 2nd meeting between the two clubs, with Toronto winning the first match 2-1 in the Shoot-out, and Florida winning the 2nd 4-2.
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Sorry about the GDT coming in so late. I'll explain what happened later.
*Shakes head about the 7-3 loss to Florida*

Anyway: Yeah, liek I said before, my final was on December 16th, which happened to be a Saturday... and that's pretty much it. :laugh: It threw off my weeked completely. I was thinking it was Sunday yesterday (since the last class being on a Saturday made it seem like it was on a Friday), and it was really Monday. I checked the schedule yesterday, wondering if I should make a thread to put up at midnight/early morning before I have to leave the house, but put it of until today, meaning to write it up tonight for tomorrow, instead of writing one up yesterday for today.

Don't you just love stories like that. :)
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