NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Monday, January 20th
(All times Eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (25-20-5) at Phoenix Coyotes (23-16-9), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs will take aim at their first
five-game winning streak in nearly seven years when they visit the Phoenix
Coyotes for Monday's clash at Jobing.com Arena.
Toronto has recorded a season-high four straight wins on the heels of a four-
game slide, but the Maple Leafs haven't claimed five consecutive victories
since Jan. 27-Feb. 6, 2007.
The Leafs have notched four or more goals in each of their past three wins and
recorded a 5-3 decision in Saturday's home test against the rival Montreal
Canadiens. James van Riemsdyk scored the game-winning goal in the third period
before Joffrey Lupul sealed the win with an empty-netter in the closing
Lupul, Mason Raymond and Phil Kessel all posted a goal and an assist, while
Cody Franson also scored for the Maple Leafs. Kessel has recorded a point in
five straight games, logging three goals and seven helpers during the tear.
Jonathan Bernier stopped 30 shots in the win, which helped Toronto pull within
four points of the Canadiens for third place in the Atlantic Division. The top
three teams in each division receive an automatic berth in the playoffs.
"Obviously the magnitude of this game was huge," said Toronto forward Nazem
Kadri. "For us to chase that top spot in the division is still a realistic
goal for us. We knew we had to come out and play against a very good team."
Toronto is currently in postseason position as it holds the seventh spot in
the Eastern Conference. The Leafs made the playoffs last spring to end a club-
record postseason drought of seven seasons.
The Leafs are kicking off a four-game road trip tonight and are just 8-10-4 as
the guest this season. Toronto has lost three straight and four of its past
five tilts in Phoenix, but the Leafs have won seven of 13 overall meetings in
The Coyotes have won two straight heading to Monday's tilt, giving the club
consecutive wins for the first time since Dec. 10-12. Phoenix hasn't won three
in a row since a five-game run from Oct. 26-Nov. 5.
Phoenix has notched both of its recent wins on home ice and will cap a three-
game stay in the desert tonight.
The Coyotes picked up a 3-2 win over New Jersey on Saturday. Martin Hanzal
tallied a goal and an assist to lead the way on offense, while Mike Smith made
32 saves in the victory.
Jordan Szwarz and Jeff Halpern also scored for Phoenix and Keith Yandle
supplied two helpers in the Coyotes' second straight win after a four-game
"It is a great night for me. Our line has been playing well recently. It was
nice to get rewarded early and get a goal for our team," Szwarz said.
Phoenix improved to 14-7-3 as the home team this season. The Coyotes will
begin a three-game road trip Wednesday night in Calgary.
01/20 10:56:20 ET