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Hockey Day in Canada Game #2: Vancouver Canucks @ Toronto Maple Leafs

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The Leafs and 'Nucks are featured in Game #2 of Hockey Day in Canada at 7:00PM ET (CBC), the first and only meeting between the two teams this season.

Toronto is coming off of a 4-2 win over the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo on Thursday night, becoming only the 2nd team this season to accomplish that feat (the other being the Ottawa Senators).

Paul Maurice said:
''That was a huge win for us based on what we're going through. We don't have a lot of veterans in there right now, but the ones that we do played really well tonight. This was our guttiest performance.''
The road victory came without injured leading goal-scorer Darcy Tucker (foot), Kyle Wellwood (hip-Flexor/Groin), Alexei Ponikarovsky (Shoulder), Michael Peca (Knee/leg), and Defenceman Ian White, who injured his shoulder in a loss to the Carolina Hurricanes in Toronto's previous game.

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The Leafs also had new/old addition Travis Green in the line-up, returning to the team for the first time since he was traded in 2003 in the waiver draft.

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The win once again has the Leafs avoid to falling below .500 this season with a 20-19-6 record for 46 points, helping them tie for the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Mats Sundin's 2 assist keep him on top of the Leafs scoring list, with 41 points in 38 games this year (18G, 23A), and Goaltender Andrew Raycroft collected his 18th win of the season.

Raycroft is currently 18-14-4, and has a 2.99 Goals Against Average and .896 Save percentage after 36 Games played for for what has been a very inconsistent Maple Leafs team this year.

Toronto are 4th in the Northeast Division.

Meanwhile,, the Vancouver Canucks are playing their best Hockey of the season, riding the tails of All-Star Goaltender Roberto Luongo.

The Canucks had won 7 Games in a row until a 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild last night. Luongo is 24-16-1 after 42 Games, and has a solid 2.50 Goals Against Average and .916 Save Percentage for Vancouver

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The Hockey Game in Canada will feature a quadrople of Swedes from the Canucks with the duo of Sedin twins, Henrik and Daniel, both proving to be dynamic so far this season, and Captain Markus Naslund, along with Defenceman Mattias Ohlund. For Toronto, it will be Captain Mats Sundin, and the hottest Leaf as of late, sophomore Alexander Steen for a total of 6.

Henrik leads the Canucks with 42 points in 44 Games played (5G, 37A), while Daniel is second on the team with 40 Points in 43 games inclunding a team leading 16 goals (16G, 24A).

Markus Naslund said:
"We’ve been lucky enough to see them grow from great prospects into amazing stars in this league. What they do with the puck is so imaginative and instinctive. It can catch you standing around watching sometimes. They can seemingly create a great scoring chance in the blink of an eye."
Vancouver is 7th in the Western Conference, with a 24-19-1 record after 44 Games played. Their 49 Points put them in a tie with the Minnesota Wild for 2nd in the Northwest Division, 1 Points back of the Calgary Flames who also play Edmonton tonight in the final game of Hockey Day in Canada. The Oilers trail Vancouver by 3 points.

The Leafs have only lost once to Vancouver since February of 2002.
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Canucks look to start new streak in Toronto

The Sports Network
1/13/2007 10:32:28 AM

(Sports Network) - Fresh off their first defeat in nearly three weeks, the Vancouver Canucks will attempt to rebound in tonight's showdown with the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Centre.

Vancouver had posted seven consecutive victories, the club's longest streak in over four years, before being dealt a 5-2 defeat by Minnesota Thursday at General Motors Place.

Marion Gaborik had two goals and Brian Rolston scored once and assisted on two others as the Wild finally snapped their 11-game road slide and ended the Canucks' eight-game home win streak in the process. Taylor Pyatt and Willie Mitchell had the goals for Vancouver.

Two days after he was named as a Western Conference starter in the upcoming All-Star Game, Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo surrendered five goals on 38 shots.

Vancouver will be starting up a four-game road trip with tonight's contest and has won its last three games as the visitor. The team is 9-11-1 away from home this season.

Toronto comes in off a big 4-2 victory on the road over Eastern Conference frontrunner Buffalo on Thursday. Jeff O'Neill led the way with a two-goal performance, while Alexander Steen continued his strong play of late by registering a goal and an assist.

Steen now has compiled five markers and four helpers over his last four games.

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Leafs buried at home by Canucks

Canadian Press
1/13/2007 9:54:18 PM

TORONTO (CP) - Daniel Sedin had a goal and three assists and the Vancouver Canucks pounded the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-1 Saturday night.

Roberto Luongo, the starting goalie for the Western Conference all-star team, kept the Canucks in the game early and outplayed his counterpart Andrew Raycroft, with a flashy glove save on Leafs captain Mats Sundin midway through the third period as the exclamation point on a near perfect evening.

Luongo stopped 35 of 36 shots while Raycroft made only 15 saves as the Canucks won the second game of CBC's Hockey Day in Canada, Ottawa routing Montreal 8-3 in the opener.

Markus Naslund, Mattias Ohlund, Sami Salo, Taylor Pyatt and Trevor Linden also scored for the Canucks (25-19-1), who got their first five goals all on the power play. Goaltending and special teams were the difference in this game, Vancouver going 5-for-10 with the man advantage while Toronto was 0-for-8.

Bates Battaglia had the lone reply for the Leafs (20-20-6), who heard the boos from the 19,608 fans at Air Canada Centre, an all-time record crowd for a Leafs game in their eight-year-old building.

The fans had nothing to complain about early on, the Leafs coming out of the gates on fire and outshooting the Canucks 14-3 in the first period, but thanks to a wall named Luongo they went to the dressing room only tied 1-1.

Vancouver opened the scoring on only its second shot of the game, Ohlund beating Raycroft glove side with a nice one-timer from the slot at 8:46 after a set-up from Daniel Sedin on a Canucks' power play, a goal that got the significant Canucks contingent in the crowd to its feet.

Battaglia tied it on a strange one with 6:29 to go in the opening period, the Leafs forward flubbing a shot from in-close that bounced over Luongo and in.

Daniel Sedin put Vancouver back up a goal 39 seconds into the second period, ripping a wrist shot from the high slot top corner over Raycroft's glove side, again on the power play. The Canucks had two goals on only four shots on goal, not doing much for Raycroft's shaky status with Leaf fans.

The back-breaker came 4:39 into the third period with the Canucks on a 5-on-3 power play, Linden banging in a rebound to give Vancouver a 3-1 lead. The Leafs were down two men because Battaglia got an unsportsmanlike penalty for yapping too much after the original hooking call on Tomas Kaberle.

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