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Thrashers-Maple Leafs Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Thrashers-Maple Leafs Preview
Atlanta Thrashers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs

The Atlanta Thrashers ended a three-year drought against the Toronto Maple Leafs when the teams last met. Now, the Thrashers hope a repeat performance will help them match their franchise-record winning streak.

Atlanta goes for its fifth straight victory when it visits Toronto on Tuesday in the second meeting between the clubs in six days.

The Thrashers (17-7-4) scored four third-period goals in Thursday's 5-0 win over the Maple Leafs (13-10-5), snapping an eight-game losing streak against them dating back to Nov. 27, 2003.

Atlanta followed that game with a 3-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday, and is now one victory away from matching its club-record five-game winning streak, set from Jan. 6-18 last season.

"There was a stretch of seven or eight minutes where it seemed like we didn't give up any shots," said Thrashers goaltender Kari Lehtonen, who made 27 saves against Florida. "We hope we can keep this up. We have a lot of guys playing very well right now."

Lehtonen has backstopped the team during its entire win streak, posting a 1.24 goals-against average and two shutouts in the four consecutive wins. He is 1-2 with a 2.67 GAA in three career starts against the Leafs, but stopped all 36 Toronto shots Thursday.

Marian Hossa leads the Thrashers with 20 goals and 39 points this season, including a hat trick in Thursday's win. The right wing added an assist in that game for his second straight four-point outing, but was held without a point Saturday.

Slava Kozlov had four assists in the victory over the Leafs, while Scott Mellanby added one goal and two assists. They'll look for similar results when Atlanta makes its second stop on a three-game road trip. The Thrashers are 9-3-3 away from home this season.

The Southeast Division leaders will also try to extend their points streak to seven games, as they are 5-0-1 in their last six contests. The Leafs are heading in the other direction with a season-high four straight losses, including a 4-3 shootout defeat to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Kyle Wellwood's third-period goal gave Toronto a two-goal lead, but it allowed two unanswered scores to Montreal's Saku Koivu before losing in the shootout.

"Nothing's going easy for us right now, I don't think there's any question about that, but I liked the way we started the game," said Maple Leafs coach Paul Maurice, whose team lost despite outshooting Montreal 39-22. "I really liked most of the game. When you look at there's 10:00 left in the game, the shots are about 33-15, we're up 3-1 and we're feeling good, and it could have been 4-1 or 5-1, but it wasn't."

Toronto has been outscored 16-5 during its losing streak, with goaltender Andrew Raycroft posting a 3.47 GAA during the four losses.

Although the Thrashers and Leafs have split two meetings this season, the Leafs have taken the last four meetings in Toronto by a 17-6 combined margin.

The Thrashers placed defenseman Andy Sutton on injured reserve Monday, retroactive to Nov. 27, with a torn tendon in his left ankle. He is expected to undergo surgery Tuesday and will be sidelined indefinitely.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 29 '07TOR 2 at ATL 3 - OTV. Kozlov
Dec 05 '06ATL 5 at TOR 2V. Kozlov
Nov 30 '06TOR 0 at ATL 5M. Hossa
Oct 30 '06ATL 2 at TOR 4D. Tucker
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
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