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Montréal
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42-34-6
Toronto
Maple Leafs
40-31-11

26 SOG
42 SOG
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TOR
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Canadiens-Maple Leafs Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Canadiens-Maple Leafs Preview
Montréal Canadiens vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs won their first game without captain and leading scorer Mats Sundin. Now they get to see how they fare without No. 1 goaltender Andrew Raycroft.

Toronto seeks its season-high fourth straight win when it faces the rival Montreal Canadiens for the third time this season on Saturday.

Despite the absence of their top offensive player, the Maple Leafs (10-5-3) scored three first-period goals and held on for a 6-4 victory at Boston on Thursday. Sundin, the team leader with 19 points, tore a ligament in his right elbow against Philadelphia on Monday and is expected to miss three to four weeks.

Raycroft stopped 28 of 30 shots Thursday before leaving late in the second period with a groin strain in his first game at Boston since the Bruins traded him to Toronto during the offseason.

"The script, it was going to be too good to be true," Raycroft said. "Of course, something has to happen at some point to me. It would have obviously been really nice to finish that."

Jean-Sebastien Aubin replaced Raycroft and stopped five of seven shots as Boston nearly overcame a four-goal deficit. Raycroft's injury is not believed to be serious and he shouldn't miss more than a week.

The injury comes at a bad time for Raycroft, who improved to 9-4-2 after going 8-19-2 with the Bruins last season. Since allowing seven goals in a loss at Ottawa on Oct. 26, he's given up only eight during a personal five-game win streak.

"I thought he was great, he played awesome," Leafs defenseman Todd Gill said. "It's a shame that he did something to his (groin). You hate to see him leave in a game like that."

Toronto continued to produce offensively even without Sundin, scoring four or more goals for the sixth time in seven games.

Left wing Darcy Tucker scored his ninth power-play goal Thursday, while Kyle Wellwood picked up his team high-tying 11th assist in his first game as Sundin's replacement on a line with Nik Antropov and Alexei Ponikarovsky.

Leafs defenseman Pavel Kubina, sidelined since Oct. 10 with a sprained left MCL, was expected to return to the lineup against Boston, but departed for the Czech Republic that morning to be with his girlfriend Andrea for the birth of their child. Kubina is not expected back in time to play Saturday.

Montreal (8-3-3) has been a strong road team this season, going 4-1-1, including a 4-0 victory over Carolina on Nov. 2 in its most recent away game.

Alex Kovalev scored on the Canadiens' fourth attempt in a shootout, lifting Montreal to a 3-2 home victory over Edmonton on Tuesday.

It was the third win in four games overall for the Canadiens, who are also without a key offensive player in center Chris Higgins. Higgins, tied for the team lead with 13 points, sat out Tuesday and is expected to miss six weeks with a partially torn ligament in his right ankle.

David Aebischer stopped 26 of 28 shots against the Oilers to improve to 5-1-1 this season. Coach Guy Carbonneau has been giving his goalies two starts at a time, meaning Aebischer should start on Saturday.

The first two meetings between these teams this season have gone to a shootout, with the road team winning each time.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Apr 07 '07 MTL 5 at TOR 6 K. Wellwood
Mar 17 '07 TOR 2 at MTL 3 - SO A. Kostitsyn
Feb 26 '07 TOR 4 at MTL 5 S. Souray
Jan 27 '07 MTL 1 at TOR 4 J. O'Neill
Dec 02 '06 TOR 3 at MTL 4 - SO S. Souray
Nov 11 '06 MTL 1 at TOR 5 M. Stajan
Oct 28 '06 TOR 5 at MTL 4 - SO K. Wellwood
Oct 07 '06 MTL 3 at TOR 2 - SO M. Ryder
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