Snapping their 3-game losing streak with a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wld, the Maple Leafs travel to Pittsburgh to face off against Sidney Crosby and the Penguins. (7:30PMET)
Jeff O'Neill's goal with over 2 minutes left in the game helped give Toronto the win over the struggling Wild.
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Mats Sundin, playing the best Hockey he has in years, scored his 15th of the season and now has 13 Points in his last 8 games for Toronto. Alexander Steen also scored for Toronto, only his 3rd goal of the season. However, the play of Steen is improving as of late, the offencive out put of the sophomore has been somewhat of a disappointment.
John Pohl, playing more up to his potential as of late, scored for Toronto as well, as he now has 6 points in his last 5 games (3G, 3A), being one of the few Leafs over the last few weeks to be having a positive effect on the team.
Michael Peca missed his 2nd game for Toronto after injuring his knee last Friday in a game against the Chicago Blackhawks. Claimed by Mats Sundin to be the best penalty-killer on the team, Peca is expected to miss 3-4 months.Paul Maurice said:"He's playing really well. He's playing with a lot of confidence and he seems to be getting faster. He's fun to watch."
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Andrew Raycroft allowed 3 goals on 18 shots, however the goals against them were arguably the fault of the defence, mainly Foster's screened shot from the point, and Wes Walz being left alone in front of the net after a commonly occurring defencive gaffe by the Hall Gill-Ian White pairing.
Raycroft is 15-12-3 in 29 games played this season, with a 3.09 Goals Against Average an .893 Save Percentage in that span.Andrew Raycroft said:"We got down a couple times but battled through it. I had three or four heart attacks. Things didn't completely go my way, but we got the win, and that's the main thing."
Toronto is 17-16-5 after 38 games for 11th place in the Eastern Conference, and are tied for last in the Northeast Division with the Boston Bruins. Both teams have 39 points.
Pittbsurgh has also struggled as of late, losing their last 5 games after winning 4 in a row. The team is now on the outside of the playoff picture looking in. Their last game was a 4-2 loss to the surprising Atlanta Thrashers.
Penguins sophomore, Sidney Crosby is tied for his team's lead in Goals with Rookie Evgeni Malkin (17), has the team lead in Assists (38), and is leading the league in points with 55 in just 33 games.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, involved in trade rumours earlier in the season, has a 14-11-4 record after 29 games, and a 3.12 Goals Against Average and .897 Save percentage.
Rookie forward Evgeni Malkin, currently leads the NHL's Rookie scoring race with 17 Goals and 17 Assist for 34 Points in 32 games played.
Pittsburgh trails Toronto by 3 points in the standings, having a 15-15-6 record after 36 Games. The Penguins also currently hold 2 games in hand of Toronto, and are 4th in the Atlantic Divison with 36 Points.
Darcy Tucker, questionable for tonight's game (but likely to play) leads the team in goals with 19, and Mats Sundin now leads the team in points, with 34 in 31 games (15G, 16A).
Kyle Wellwood and Alexei Ponikarovsky, both having career years, are also expected to miss the game tonight.
J.S. Aubin is expected to get the start against Pittsburgh with Toronto likely wanting to rest Raycroft for when Toronto faces the Ottawa Senators tomorrow night.