NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, December 5th
(All times Eastern)
Dallas Stars (13-9-4) at Toronto Maple Leafs (14-11-3), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Maple Leafs may have to try and halt their
longest losing streak of the season without their leading scorer on Thursday
night when they take on the visiting Dallas Stars.
The Maple Leafs are 0-3-2 over their last five games, a skid that was extended
on Tuesday with a 4-2 loss to the San Jose Sharks. Mason Raymond and Phil
Kessel scored power-play goals, while James Reimer yielded three goals on 40
Toronto has not won since Nov. 23 and has given up at least four goals in all
but one game during its losing streak.
"We've got to find ways to keep the other team off the scoreboard a little
better," said Reimer. "We battled back and tied it, but then they got the lead
right back. It was a good game, but we're disappointed that we lost."
Kessel's goal was his team-leading 15th of the season and 200th of his career.
He is also tops on the club with 25 points, but was forced to leave practice
early on Wednesday due to an undisclosed injury.
That leaves the forward's status for this game up in the air as Toronto tries
to avoid losing six in a row for the first time since Feb. 18-29, 2012.
Forwards Colton Orr (bruised elbow) and Tyler Bozak (upper body) also are
questionable for this game, though Cody Franson may return from a two-game
absence caused by a lower-body ailment.
The Stars have a point in four straight, going 2-0-2 in that span. They
followed up consecutive shootout losses with Tuesday's 4-3 victory over the
Dallas won despite blowing a 3-0 lead and getting outshot 50-18. Kari Lehtonen
made 47 saves and Antoine Roussel scored the winner on a penalty shot at 3:01
of the third period.
"We got some lucky goals and some good bounces," said Roussel. "They played
hard tonight, but we were able to get the two points."
Alex Chiasson, Valeri Nichushkin and Erik Cole all scored for the Stars, who
registered a season low for shots in a game and a season high for shots
allowed in a game.
Forward Ryan Garbutt sat out the third period with a lower-body injury and is
questionable for tonight along with Tyler Seguin, who has missed the past two
with concussion-like symptoms. Seguin leads Dallas with 12 goals on the
The Stars had won four straight over the Maple Leafs before losing the past
two meetings. That includes a 4-1 setback in Toronto on Nov. 22, 2010 and a
4-3 shootout defeat in Dallas in the most recent matchup on Nov. 25, 2011.
Lehtonen is 2-6-1 with a 2.97 goals against average in his career versus
Toronto, spanning nine games and eight starts.
Reimer has never faced the Stars, while Jonathan Bernier is 2-2-1 against them
in five games with a 2.18 GAA.
12/05 10:30:23 ET