Winning back-to-back games on the road, and now 12-8-3 on away from the Air Canada Center, the Toronto Maple Leafs visit Pittsburgh to take on the Penguins in their last game before the NHL All-Star break, and the last of their 3-game roadtrip (7:00PM ET, CBC).
The Leafs are most recently coming off of a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, where Andrew Raycroft's 39 saves give the goaltender another solid victory, following a 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay 2 nights before.
Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/7093-gameday-48-toronto-maple-leafs-florida.htmlAndrew Raycroft said:''I feel good. Yeah, there were 40-something shots but I was able to see them.
I'd rather have a lot of pucks and get warm moving instead of standing around getting cold.''
The addition of Boyd Devereaux has so far proven to be of some worth, with Devereaux scoring the 1st goal of the game for Toronto, and John Pohl and Chad Kilger adding the others.
Another big test comes for the inconsistent Leafs again tonight though. They will be facing the much-improved Penguins, led by NHL leading scorer Sidney Crosby, as they try for their 3rd straight victory.
Related Topic: http://www.hockeyforum.com/toronto-maple-leafs/7193-crosby-up-facing-toronto.html
Raycroft faced 41 shots on the night from the Panthers, and his performance now leaves him with a 3.02 Goals Against Average and .895 Save Percentage of after 39 games. He is currently 20-15-4 on the season overall.
There is a possibility of Darcy Tucker returning to the line-up for tonight's game, but the forward is likely to return next week when the Leafs host the Montreal Canadiens after the NHL All-Star break, according to Leaf Coach Paul Maurice.
Defenceman Ian White is out for another 3 weeks with a shoulder injury, while there continues to be no time-frame set on the return of Centerman Kyle Wellwood and his hip-flexor injury.
Mats Sundin's 42 points in 41 games played continue to lead the team (18G, 24A), while Darcy Tucker's 19 Goals are stil tops on Toronto.
The Leafs are now 22-20-6 after 48 games played, and are tied with the New York Rangers for the last spot in the Eastern Conference with 50 Points, Toronto on the outside looking in.
The Leafs remain 4th in their division and 18 points behind the Eastern Conference and Northeast Division leading Buffalo Sabres.
The last game played between the leafs and Penguns was late in December, with the Penguins winning 4-1 over the Leafs.
Led by Sidney Crosby, and likely Rookie of the Year cadidate Evgeni Malkin, the Penguins are having the best season the team has had in years.
They are currently 2 points back of Toronto and New York (Rangers) for the last spot in the Conference with 48 points, and have 3 games in hand of ofthe Leafs.
There were wispers of a possible trade involving Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury before the Season began, but so far the goaltender has done a decent job for the Penguins. Now 19-12-6 through 37 Games, and with a 2.90 Goals Against Average and .904 Save Percentage, Fleury may remain with the franchise for years to come.
However, the young team's dynamic duo of Crosby and Malkin has been the main core of the team.
Crosby has 69 points in 42 games played (23G, 46A), and continues to be hunted down by the ever persistent Calder Tropohy winner and fellow All-Star Alexander Ovechkin, who is tied for 2nd in the league with other All-Star Martin St. Louis, both having 64 Points on the year (both also being tied for 2nd in the NHL with 29 Goals).
Evgeni Malkin leads all rookies with 47 Points in 41 Games played (24G, 23A) and his 24 goals currently lead the Penguins club.
Pittsburgh is 20-17-8 so far on the year and are 4th in the Atlantic Divison, trailing the leading New Jersey Devils by 13 Points.
This is the 2nd meeting between the Leafs and Penguins this year.