Maple Leafs Seek Elusive Win Against Flames
FLAMES (31-37-7) at MAPLE LEAFS (36-32-8)
TV: SNET-W, SNET-O, TSN 1050 RADIO
Last 10: Calgary 6-4-0; Toronto 1-9-0
Season series: This is the second game between the Calgary Flames and Toronto Maple Leafs. Jonathan Bernier made 41 saves in a 4-2 Toronto win on Oct. 30.
Big story: The Maple Leafs are desperate to end their eight-game losing streak and move closer to an Eastern Conference wild card spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Flames continue to play spoiler, having beaten the Anaheim Ducks, Dallas Stars, San Jose Sharks and New York Rangers in the past three weeks.
Flames: Calgary looks to bounce back from a 6-3 loss against the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. The Flames haven't dropped back-to-back games in three weeks, but will face another team in need of a win.
"We have to be ready for a really desperate team," Flames defenseman Mark Giordano said after practice Monday. "I watched a few of [Toronto's] games lately. I watched the first period against Detroit and they were playing well, they were desperate and they came out flying, so we have to be ready for that same sort of push from them."
It's the second game of a five-game road trip for the Flames, who will also face playoff hopefuls in the Tampa Bay Lightning and New Jersey Devils.
Maple Leafs: Since its last win on March 13, Toronto has fallen from second place (and an automatic playoff berth) in the Atlantic Division to fifth in the division and 10th in the conference. The Leafs lost a big two points in a 4-2 loss to the Red Wings on Saturday, a team they are chasing for a wild-card spot. Toronto has six games left and will have to hurdle over at least two teams to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
"We all knew [Saturday] was a big game but, the crazy thing is, we're still in it. We lost eight in a row now and we are still in it so, we know we just have to win one and I'm sure the ball is going to start going on our side," said Bernier, who has allowed four goals in each of his past three starts.
The Maple Leafs have allowed an average of four goals per game during the eight-game losing streak and at least three goals in each game, and can't overlook a Flames team playing well.
"We have to make sure we prepare for Calgary and hopefully turn the tide around here," Maple Leafs forward Nazem Kadri said. "It's been tough on everyone the last 12 or 13 days just dealing with all of this. A lot of those games we've played we felt we played well enough to win but we just haven't."
Who's hot: Flames forward Matt Stajan has two goals and seven points in his past five games. Center Mike Cammalleri has 11 goals and 19 points in his past 15 games. ... Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner has a four-game point streak (six assists) and has points in six of his past seven games. Forward Joffrey Lupul has three goals in his past five games.
Injury report: Flames defensemen Dennis Wideman (upper body) and Davis Jones (upper body) and forward Markus Granlund (shoulder) are out. Defenseman Ladislav Smid (upper body) did not play Sunday. ... Maple Leafs defenseman Paul Ranger (concussion) is out and forward Phil Kessel (foot) is probable.