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Discussion Starter #1
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Now 11-8-3 on the road, and 2 points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Toronto Maple Leafs continue their roadtrip tonight when they visit Florida to take on the Panthers. (7:30PM ET)

Toronto is coming off of a 4-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday night. The Lightning were winners of 5 in a row, and despite the loss still hold on to 8th place in the Eastern Conference, with the All-Star break closing in (next week).

Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/6986-gameday-47-toronto-maple-leafs-tampa.html

Toronto once again avoided falling below .500, with Andrew Raycroft having a solid performance in net for Toronto, and the Leafs, who held Tampa to just 2 shots in the 3rd period.

John Tortorella said:
''We just couldn't solve Raycroft. He was the difference.''
Alexander Steen scored yet again for Toronto, his 10th of the season and 8th in his last 10 games.

Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky both returned to the line-up for the Maple Leafs that day, and both had 1 goal and 1 assist on the night, 2 points each.

Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/7022-antropov-ponikarovsky-activated-ir.html

However, it was Johnny Pohl's goal to tie the games at 2-2 with with 6 seconds remaining in the 2nd Period that changed the tide of the game, according to Head Coach Paul Maurice.

Paul Maurice said:
''That goal just fired the bench right up, and it's a big part in why we came out and had a third period like we did.''
Raycroft is 19-15-4 on the season after 38 games, and has a 3.05 Goals Against Average and .893 Save Percentage for the Toronto.

Mats Sundin continues to lead the team in points, with 42 in 40 games played (18G, 24A).

Winger Darcy Tucker, who's 19 goals leads the team, remains missing from the lie-up, along with Centerman Kyle Wellwood and Defenceman Ian White.

The Leafs are now 21-20-6 after 47 game for 48 Points, ranking 4th in the Northeast Division.

The Florida Panthers, despite their problems find themselves only 6 points out of the last playoff spot in the East.

One of the few bright spots for the Panthers have been Captain Olli Jokinen, and defenceman Jay Bouwmeester, the latter having been named to the All-Star game to be played next week in Dallas.

Jokinen leads the team in Goals (22), Assists (29), and points (51) after 48 games. Meanwhile, Bouwmeester has 26 Points in 48 games for the Panthers (8G, 18A), who are losers of 6 of their last 10 games.

The goaltending dutie have, for the most part, been a split between both Ed Belfour and Alex Auld, with the better numbers currently going for the aging Eagle.

Belfour is 10-9-5 after 27 Games played, with a 2.72 Goals Against Average and .900 Save percentage.

Auld is 7-125 in 25 games, and has a 3.25 Goals Against Average and .893 Save Percentage.

The team is 17-21-10 through 48 games for 14th in their Conference and last in the Southeast Divison with 44 Points, 1 behind the Washington Capitals.
 

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Healthier Leafs head to Florida

Sports Network
1/18/2007 11:16:27 AM


(Sports Network) - A healthier Toronto Maple Leafs squad takes aim at a second consecutive victory as they continue their current road trip by visiting the Florida Panthers tonight at BankAtlantic Center.

Toronto has been dogged by injuries over the past month, but the club got two key members back in Alexei Ponikarovsky and Nik Antropov when it opened this three-game swing Tuesday against Tampa Bay. The additions paid immediate dividends, as both players contributed a goal and an assist to the Maple Leafs' 4-2 victory.

Alex Steen scored the tie-breaking goal with 4:21 left to play and Tomas Kaberle finished with a pair of assists for Toronto, which rebounded from an embarrassing 6-1 home loss to Vancouver on Saturday. Andrew Raycroft was solid between the pipes, stopping 21 of the 23 shots he faced.

Antropov had been sidelined since December 5 with a sprained ankle and Ponikarovsky had missed Toronto's last 11 games because of a separated shoulder.

The Leafs may get another wounded player back in the lineup tonight, as right wing Darcy Tucker will be a game-time decision. The gritty veteran, who leads Toronto with 19 goals, has sat out eight of the team's last nine games with an injured left foot.

FULL STORY
 

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Toronto Maple Leafs: Lines vs. Florida

Forwards
Ponikarovsky - Sundin - Antropov
Steen - Stajan - O'Neill
Battaglia - Pohl - Devereaux
Kilger - Green - Belak
Defence
Colaiacovo - McCabe
Kaberle - Kubina
Gill - Bell

Goaltender
Raycroft

Notes: Darcy Tucker did not take the morning skate and will not play as his left foot swelled up overnight. They will assess him again after his next full skate, either Friday or Saturday. Maurice says there's less pressure for Tucker to rush back after Antropov's and Ponikarovsky's strong returns on Tuesday.

Alex Auld is starting in goal for the Panthers. He faced 48 shots in a 2-1 OT loss to the Leafs in Toronto's fourth game of the season.

Todd Bertuzzi has been skating periodically on his own since Monday and reported no pain after his first on-ice session since undergoing back surgery in October. He plans to start practising with the team after the All Star break and hopes to return to game action by the end of February. - TSN


Panthers Lines:

Gratton - Jokinen - Horton
Gelinas - Weiss - Olesz
Peltonen - Campbell - Kolnik
Kreps - Larman - Stewart

Bouwmeester - Allen
Salei - Van Ryn
Montador - Kwiatkowski

Goaltender:Auld

Scratches: None

Anyway another must win tonight for us! GO LEAFS GO!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Why does Antropov have a spot prepared for him on the top line? O'Neill and Steen were just fine there.

Why the change?

Oh well. With Toronto on the road, the team should do okay tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's 1-0 Toronto at the end of the firt.

Goal by Boyd Devereaux, assisted by Chad Kilger and Bates Battaglia.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Leafs-3, Panthers-2 Final.

The Leafs got away with it here. Raycroft stopped 39 of 4 shots, and Devereaux is making the most of his time on the big club, and proves to be decent aqcuisition so far.

Johnny Pohl scored one again too. Gotta' get that sig back up soon, though I'm really loving this NHL 07 one.

So simple, yet so cool. :)

It's not all rosy though. The Leafs's defencive effort continues to lack (especially that last goal). Had it not been for Florida's defencive coverage being as terrible as Toronto's usually is (maybe even worse), I'm not sure we'd be talking about a victory right now. No wonder they're not in the playoffs... like Toronto.

Not to mention the team is on the road. I find that they play their best when visiting a club.

Kilger scored too. That's grinding it out for a win.(Though Pohl and Kilger's goals were very weak).

Next game is at Pittsburgh Saturday night. Tucker could return, but it's more likely he'll be back against the Habs after the All-Star break.
 

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Leafs shine in the Sunshine State

Associated Press
1/18/2007 10:28:19 PM


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - Andrew Raycroft stopped 39 shots as the Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Florida Panthers 3-2 on Thursday night.

Boyd Devereaux, Chad Kilger and John Pohl scored for the Leafs, who won for the third time in six games.

Gregory Campbell and Ville Peltonen scored for Florida, which lost for the fifth time in seven games.

Alex Auld gave up three goals on just 14 shots and was replaced at the start of the third period by Ed Belfour, who finished with five saves.

Pohl's unassisted goal at 10:41 of the second gave Toronto a 3-0 lead. Pohl tried to centre the puck from the left of the net. The puck went behind Auld and trickled off his pad across the goal-line.

Florida pulled to 3-1 on Campbell's goal at 1:12 of the third. Joel Kwiatkowski took a shot from above the left circle near the blue-line and Campbell got a piece of the puck before it went into the net.

FULL STORY
 
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