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New-Look Leafs Set to Face Flames

Thursday, 13.03.2003 / 10:12 AM / News
Toronto Maple Leafs
GAME: Toronto Maple Leafs (38-26-5-1) at Calgary Flames (23-32-10-4).

TIME: Thursday, 9 p.m. EST.

The biggest problem facing the Toronto Maple Leafs in the final three weeks of the regular season could be team chemistry.

With the trade deadline passed, the Maple Leafs can begin the process of getting familiar with each other when they face the Calgary Flames.

The Maple Leafs had already acquired right wing Owen Nolan and defenseman Glen Wesley before trading for center Doug Gilmour and defenseman Phil Housley at Tuesday's trade deadline.

Gilmour, the Toronto captain from 1992-97, was acquired from Montreal for future considerations, while Housley was obtained from Chicago for two draft picks. Both Gilmour and Housley are 39 and entering option years on their contracts.

"It's a dream come true again," Gilmour said. "Hopefully I can be a small piece of this puzzle. "This is probably my last go at (a Stanley Cup). I'm really excited about it." While Gilmour is expected to be in the lineup Thursday, Housley has been sidelined Feb. 14 with a broken bone in his foot and is not expected to play.

Captain Mats Sundin recorded his 1,000th point by scoring with 5:48 remaining as Toronto rallied for a 3-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Monday, ending a four-game winless streak.

Sundin went six games without a goal and had just one assist during that span.

"You try not to think about it and you say to yourself, `It's not a big deal,' but in the back of your head, it might have been," Sundin said. "More than anything, it's nice to get it behind and get it over with and move on.

Obviously, we have more important things to look forward to." The Leafs are likely headed for a fourth or fifth-place finish in the Eastern Conference, and a first-round matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers.

Calgary is one of the few teams in the NHL that has no shot at the postseason with 13 games remaining.

The Flames, who will miss the playoffs for the seventh consecutive season, are two just points ahead of Columbus, owner of the worst record in the Western Conference.

The Flames had a season-best four-game win streak snapped Tuesday with a 5-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.

STANDINGS (through March 11): Maple Leafs - 82 points, 2nd place, 14 PB, Northeast Division. Flames - 60 points, 5th place, 32 PB, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Maple Leafs - Sundin, 31 goals; Alexander Mogilny, 44 assists and 72 points; Tie Domi and Wade Belak, 155 PIM. Flames - Jarome Iginla, 30 goals and 56 points; Craig Conroy, 31 assists; Scott Nichol, 119 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 11): Maple Leafs - Power play: 17.0 percent (53 for 311), 13th in NHL. Penalty killing: 86.9 percent (318 for 366), 3rd. Flames - Power play: 12.6 percent (40 for 318), 28th. Penalty killing: 83.4 percent (276 for 331), 15th.

GOALTENDERS: Maple Leafs - Ed Belfour (31-19-4, 6 SO, 2.31 GAA); Trevor Kidd (6-7-1, 3.03). Flames - Roman Turek (21-26-7, 3, 2.72); Jamie McLennan (2-10-3, 3.02).

SEASON SERIES: Maple Leafs, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 14; Maple Leafs, 3-2. At Toronto, Sundin scored the go-ahead goal with 7:59 remaining and Belfour stopped 31 shots as the Leafs extended their home unbeaten streak to 13.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Maple Leafs - 17-14-2-1 on the road; Flames - 10-14-8-1 at home.
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