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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, November 27th (All times Eastern)
Toronto Maple Leafs (14-9-1) at Pittsburgh Penguins (15-9-1), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - While both Toronto and Pittsburgh are coming off Monday losses, the Penguins have to feel much better about their effort in at least earning a point.
The Maple Leafs, meanwhile, have little to build off from their recent outing and look to rebound on Wednesday night against the Pens.
Toronto had won three of four on a homestand that wrapped on Monday against the Columbus Blue Jackets, but left town on a sour note following a 6-0 setback. Sergei Bobrovsky made 18 saves for the Blue Jackets, while James Reimer allowed all six goals on 21 shots in defeat.
Reimer was replaced by Jonathan Bernier with just over eight minutes left to play and the Maple Leafs offense was held to a pair of goals or fewer for the eighth time in 10 games this month. They have been shut out twice in that span.
"We just couldn't find the pace of the game at all," said Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle. "It was like we were playing in boots and they were playing on skates."
Carlyle also saw oft-injured forward Joffrey Lupul exit early with what was later diagnosed as a Grade 2 groin strain. He has eight goals and seven assists in 22 games this season, but won't play tonight.
Reimer was making his second start in a row on Monday, but Bernier will likely get the call tonight in the first of three straight road contests. He has never faced the Penguins.
Pittsburgh returns home following back-to-back road losses, a 3-2 loss in Montreal on Saturday followed by Monday's 4-3 overtime setback in Boston.
It was a wild finish as Penguins captain Sidney Crosby accidentally deflected the puck into his own net with 5:15 left in the third period on a Zdeno Chara shot, but made up for his mistake by scoring a game-tying goal with just 0.3 seconds to go in regulation.
However, Boston's Torey Krug scored the game-winner just 34 seconds into overtime.
"It was good that we were able to tie it up, but it was a bad mistake on my part trying to get my stick on (Chara's shot)," said Crosby. "I shouldn't have been in that situation."
James Neal scored two goals and Marc-Andre Fleury had 20 saves for the Metropolitan Division-leading Penguins, who aim to rebound tonight and improve their 10-3-0 mark at home.
Pittsburgh does have injury concerns, losing forward Beau Bennett for the next 8-to-10 weeks following wrist surgery and forward Tanner Glass for the next 3- to-4 weeks due to a broken hand suffered in Montreal.
Defenseman Paul Martin is also out tonight due to a lower-body injury and the Penguins recalled forwards Jayson Megna and Chris Conner and defenseman Simon Despres from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League on Wednesday morning.
The Penguins failed to extend a two-game series winning streak over the Maple Leafs with a 4-1 setback in Toronto on Oct. 26. Fleury made 26 saves, but fell to 13-9-3 with a 3.15 goals against average in his career versus the Maple Leafs.
Reimer made 37 saves for Toronto, which has lost four of its past six in Pittsburgh.
11/27 10:49:22 ET