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Wednesday, 05.02.2003 / 12:00 AM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
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GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (27-20-4-1) at Florida Panthers (15-19-10-8).

TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

A 13-game home unbeaten streak got the Toronto Maple Leafs back on track in the playoff race. It's their road play of late, however, that has them surging.

Toronto looks for its fifth win in six road contests when it meets the Florida Panthers in the first game for each club after the All-Star break.

The Leafs struggled early this season, but a 12-0-1 run at Air Canada Centre from Nov. 19-Jan. 14 enabled them to get back into the thick of the Eastern Conference race.

Toronto saw that streak come to an end with consecutive home losses on Jan.

Robert Svehla faces-off against his former team tonight.
Graig Abel Photography
21 and 25, but it has won two straight and four of its last five road games.

The Leafs won at Carolina and Atlanta in their last two games before the break, and following Wednesday's contest, conclude a stretch of four straight away from home when they visit Tampa Bay on Thursday.

In Toronto's 5-2 win over the Thrashers last Thursday, Tie Domi had a complete night in leading the Leafs. He scored a goal, earned his 200th career point and got into a fight.

"I've worked hard to establish myself as an all-around player," said Domi, who scored Toronto's first goal on a deflection then assisted on the clincher by Alyn McCauley with 10:40 remaining for point No. 200.

Florida skated to a 2-2 tie with the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday, just hours after it traded All-Star defenseman Sandis Ozolinsh and Lance Ward to Anaheim for Matt Cullen and Pavel Trnka.

Florida's Olli Jokinen said he was disappointed by the tie, but believed earning a point was impressive considering the circumstances.

"First, we find out Sandis Ozolinsh was traded after he rode the team bus to the arena with us," Jokinen said. "Then we have to regroup, refocus and play the defending Stanley Cup champions. I'll take the point."

Florida is 1-4-1 in its last six and has won just three of its last 14 home games.

STANDINGS (through Feb. 3): Maple Leafs - 59 points, 2nd place, 12 PB, Northeast Division. Panthers - 48 points, 3rd place, 10 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin, 23 goals; Alexander Mogilny, 31 assists and 53 points; Domi, 108 PIM. Panthers - Jokinen, 25 goals and 44 points; Jokinen and Viktor Kozlov, 19 assists; Peter Worrell, 134 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 3): Maple Leafs - Power play: 18.1 percent (43 for 238), 11th in NHL. Penalty killing: 87.5 percent (231 for 264), 2nd.

Panthers - Power play: 14.7 percent (33 for 225), 21st. Penalty killing: 79.7 percent (189 for 237), 28th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (23-14-3, 5 SO, 2.14 GAA); Trevor Kidd (3-6-1, 3.43). Panthers - Roberto Luongo (11-21-5, 4, 2.89); Jani Hurme (4-6-5, 1, 2.70).

SEASON SERIES: Panthers, 1-0-1.

LAST MEETING: Dec. 18; 2-2 tie. At Sunrise, Fla., Kidd made 30 saves against the team that let him go in the offseason, but the Panthers rallied for the draw on Jaroslav Bednar's goal at 2:52 of the third period.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 11-11-2-1 on the road; Panthers - 7-10-5-4 at home.
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