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After suffering a loss to the Chicago Blackhawks and losing valuable ground on the teams ahead of them in the playoff picture (having 1 less game to make a comback with), the Maple Leafs return home to face the Washington Capitals who are currently trying to solidify a spot in the top 8 in the East. (7:00PMET)

John Pohl scored the only goal for the Leafs in a losing effort, his 4th of the season. Petr Bondra's goal, the 500th of his NHL career, ended up being the decisive marker for Chicago.

However, bigger news (if possible ) was the loss of Center Mike Peca, and the injury bug that could be biting the team. Leaf Coach paul Maurice says the injury to Peca is likely to be serious.

Paul Maurice said:
"This is not day-to-day. It's a bad injury. He's in quite a bit of pain. We're not going to know until the doctors get a better look inside."
Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/5690-gameday-36-toronto-maple-leafs-chicago.html

Darcy Tucker continues to lead the team in goals with 19, and is tied with Kyle Wellwood for the lead in points with 31 in 36 games played.

Jean-Sebastien Aubin was in net for Toronto last night, in place of Andrew Raycroft who was resting for Toronto's game tonight.

Andrew Raycroft has a Goals Against Average of 3.10 and Save Percentage of .893 after the loss.

The Leafs are 16-15-5 after 36 games, and are currently ranked 9th in the Eastern Conference, and 3rd in the Northeast Division, 1 points ahead of the surging Boston Bruins.

The Capitals have lost their last 2 games, their most recent being a 4-1 loss to the New jersey Devils. However, the team's play lateley has been mostly solid, having gone 6-1-1 in their previous games. They are currently tied with Toronto with 37 Points each, and they currently holdon to the last post in the playoff picture. Washington looks to build on that and when they visit the Leafs Saturday night.

Alexander Ovechkin has at least 2 points or more in each of his last 5. The Calder Trophy Winner is on pace for a career season, while getting help from other sophomore Alexander Semin, who has 30 points in 34 games this season (14G, 16A), and 6 in his last 3 games.

Ovechkin also leads with 45 points in 34 games, and his 23 goals tie him for 2nd in the league, 1 back of Marian Hossa.

Goaltender Olaf Kolzig has a high 3.16 Goals Against Average, but a solid .911 Save Percentage, possibly showing that there's more to the team's performance than meets the eye.

The Capitals are 15-12-7 after 34 games for 8th in the East and 3rd in the Southeats Division.

The last meeting between the two clubs resulted in a 7-1 victoy by Toronto over the Capitals.

This is Toronto's last game before the Christmas break, where they will be off until Boxing day when they host the Minnesota Wild.
 

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Ovechkin, Caps visit hurting Leafs

The Sports Network
12/23/2006 11:31:45 AM


(Sports Network) - Two teams hoping to rebound from Friday losses will square off tonight at Toronto's Air Canada Centre, where the Maple Leafs entertain Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

Toronto returns from last night's 3-1 defeat at Chicago, where former Capital Peter Bondra snapped a 1-1 deadlock early in the third period with his 500th career NHL goal.

John Pohl tallied the only goal for the Maple Leafs, who have lost two straight following a three-game win streak. Jean-Sebastien Aubin stopped 22 shots in defeat.

Toronto suffered another significant loss during Friday's contest, as veteran center Michael Peca tore the MCL in his right knee as well as a fractured right tibia after colliding with the Blackhawks' Jim Vandermeer in the first period.

The Maple Leafs were already without forwards Kyle Wellwood, who is battling a hip flexor, and Alexei Ponikarovsky, who has a separated shoulder. Neither player is expected to return to the lineup tonight.

FULL STORY
 

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Hopefully the leafs will be mad enough to win tonight, c'mon boys! GO LEAFS GO! :thumbsup:
 

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I wonder if the refs mother hurt herself after falling on the ice. I couldn't help but laugh a little lol

Raycroft just made a nice save on Ovechkin!:thumbsup:
 
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