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Gameday Preview: Leafs vs. Panthers

Monday, 03.03.2003 / 1:49 PM / News
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Gameday Preview: Leafs vs. Panthers
GAME: Florida Panthers (19-25-12-9) at Toronto Maple Leafs (37-23-4-1).

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

Having missed several opportunities to gain ground in the race for the Eastern Conference's last playoff spot, the Florida Panthers are hoping a tough schedule doesn't push them even further back in the pack.

The sputtering Panthers close out a three-game road trip against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre.

Shayne Corson returned to the lineup and picked up two points.
Graig Abel Photography
Winless in their last four games (0-3-1), the Panthers have slipped eight points behind the eighth-place Boston Bruins, who have held onto the spot despite going eight games without a win.

The Panthers will play five of their eight games next on the road, and return home Wednesday to take on the red-hot Colorado Avalanche.

Florida suffered its third straight loss Saturday, dropping a 5-2 decision to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

Olli Jokinen scored his team-leading 33rd goal for the Panthers, who have scored just six goals in their last four games, going 2-of-11 on the power play.

Florida's top priority Monday will be shutting down Toronto winger Alexander Mogilny, who has registered a point in eight straight games, collecting four goals and nine assists.

On Saturday, Mogilny scored his 26th goal in a 4-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes, Toronto's second victory in three games.

Forward Shayne Corson, back in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for seven straight games, had a goal and an assist for the Maple Leafs.

"It sure was nice to score," Corson said. "I wanted to come back and have a good game. But the most satisfying thing for me was that I came back and we won the game with me in the lineup."

Corson, 36, has five goals and seven assists in 34 games this season.

STANDINGS (through March 1):
Panthers - 59 points, 3rd place, 12 PB, Southeast Division.
Maple Leafs - 79 points, 2nd place, 9 PB, Northeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS:
Panthers - Jokinen, 33 goals and 60 points; Jokinen and Viktor Kozlov, 27 assists; Peter Worrell, 180 PIM.
Maple Leafs - Mats Sundin, 30 goals; Mogilny, 43 assists and 69 points; Tie Domi, 121 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 1):
Panthers - Power play: 15.0 percent (42 for 280), 20th in NHL. Penalty killing: 79.7 percent (231 for 290), 30.
Maple Leafs - Power play: 17.3 percent (51 for 294), 12th. Penalty killing: 87.5 percent (193 for 255), 2nd.

GOALTENDERS:
Panthers - Roberto Luongo (15-27-6, 6 SO, 2.86 GAA); Jani Hurme (4-7-6, 1, 2.70).
Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (30-17-3, 6 SO, 2.26 GAA); Trevor Kidd (6-6-1, 0, 3.10).

SEASON SERIES: tied, 1-1-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 5; Maple Leafs, 6-0. Toronto scored three goals in the first 4:11 of the second period to grab a 4-0 lead en route to their third straight win.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Panthers - 12-11-5-4 on the road; Maple Leafs - 21-11-2-0 at home.
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