|TOR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||0|
|ATL||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||5|
The Toronto Maple Leafs may be experiencing a minor slump, but they'll get the chance at the perfect remedy Thursday - another win over the Atlanta Thrashers.
The Maple Leafs go for their ninth straight victory against the Thrashers as the teams meet at Philips Arena.
Toronto (13-9-4) is coming off back-to-back losses to the Boston Bruins, including Tuesday's 4-1 defeat, and is trying to avoid matching a season high with a third straight loss. The Maple Leafs have had nothing but success recently against the Thrashers (15-7-4), however, outscoring them 37-9 during an eight-game winning streak that began Nov. 27, 2003, with a 3-1 victory.
The Leafs have converted 25 percent (15 of 60) of their power-play opportunities during that run, including 3 of 7 in a 4-2 win Oct. 30 over the Thrashers. Darcy Tucker had two of those extra-man tallies and leads the NHL with 11, while Tomas Kaberle had the other.
"I can't explain why we play so well against them," said Tucker after that victory.
Tucker has certainly done his part, recording seven goals and seven assists in his last nine games versus Atlanta. The veteran right wing is among the NHL leaders with 16 goals this season and has a team-best 25 points. Kaberle has seven points in his last five contests against the Thrashers and 24 in 23 career games - his second-best mark against any opponent.
Toronto goaltender Andrew Raycroft is 3-1 with a tie and a 2.78 goals-against average in six career games versus Atlanta, but has struggled a bit against other opponents recently. He has allowed three or more goals in three of his last four starts since a personal career-high tying six-game win streak.
The Maple Leafs have been held to one goal in each of their last two defeats and were shut out on all six extra-man advantages Tuesday.
"We had a much better night than Saturday night, but we've got to put the puck in the net on power-play opportunities," said Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice, whose team has lost five of its last seven games.
Toronto has converted 25 percent (14 of 56) of its power-play chances on the road, including 5 of 12 in its last two contests. The Maple Leafs are 7-3-2 away from home this season, but will face an Atlanta team that is 3-0-1 in its last four games.
Bobby Holik scored in overtime Tuesday to give the Thrashers a 5-4 victory over the New York Rangers after they had blown a late third-period lead.
"I'm in the point of my career where I want to help this team to get into the playoffs," said Holik, a two-time Stanley Cup champion who had two goals and an assist in the win. "That's all I ever care about. If we win, that's the satisfaction."
Marian Hossa scored his 17th goal, tying him for the NHL lead, and added three assists in the victory to boost his point total to 35. The veteran right wing hasn't put up those kind of numbers against the Maple Leafs, though, totaling just one goal and one assist in the last nine matchups.
Kari Lehtonen made 30 saves Tuesday to improve to 11-5-4 with a 2.94 GAA this season, but he has lost both career starts against the Maple Leafs, posting a 4.00 GAA.
The Maple Leafs have just one regulation loss in the last 15 meetings with the Thrashers and will host them in their third matchup of the season Tuesday.
Atlanta defenseman Andy Sutton is out indefinitely after cracking a bone in his ankle Monday during practice.
|Mar 29 '07||TOR 2 at ATL 3 - OT||V. Kozlov|
|Dec 05 '06||ATL 5 at TOR 2||V. Kozlov|
|Nov 30 '06||TOR 0 at ATL 5||M. Hossa|
|Oct 30 '06||ATL 2 at TOR 4||D. Tucker|