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Maple Leafs-Penguins Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Maple Leafs-Penguins Preview
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Pittsburgh Penguins

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been struggling on the road lately, but they've had no trouble when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins over the last five years.

The Maple Leafs look to win their eighth straight game at Mellon Arena as they play the struggling Penguins on Friday.

Toronto (17-16-5) is just 1-4-1 on the road since Nov. 30, getting outscored 23-10 in those games.

It's been a different story when they've played Pittsburgh (15-15-6), though, as they've outscored the Penguins 32-10 during their seven-game winning streak at Mellon Arena. Toronto has won nine of its last 10 against Pittsburgh overall.

The Penguins have not defeated the Maple Leafs at home since a 3-1 victory on Nov. 1, 2001, and are in the midst of a slump.

After winning four straight games from Dec. 9-15, Pittsburgh lost its fifth straight with a 4-2 loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.

"We're right back where we started a week ago," forward Ryan Malone said. "We've got to dig ourselves back up to where we were and improve. You obviously don't want to go on a skid like this but it happens. We have to bounce back and take care of business."

The Penguins have been outscored 21-9 during their losing skid, and Sidney Crosby has gone consecutive games without a point.

Crosby, the NHL's leading scorer with 55 points, matched a career high by scoring in 10 straight games before his drought began. The second-year center has not gone three straight games without a point since Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2005.

Pittsburgh is 0-29-1 the last two seasons when Crosby doesn't score.

Crosby has scored a point in three of four career games against the Maple Leafs, recording one goal and three assists in those contests, but he has yet to experience a win over Toronto.

Marc-Andre Fleury made 27 saves on Wednesday, and has a 4.11 goals-against average during his four-game losing streak.

Fleury is 0-2-1 with a 2.28 GAA in four career games against the Maple Leafs, while backup goalie Jocelyn Thibault - who is 1-4-2 with a 3.24 GAA this season - has lost his last four games to Toronto.

The Maple Leafs got a goal by Jeff O'Neill with just over 2 minutes remaining to defeat Minnesota 4-3 on Tuesday and end a three-game losing skid.

Toronto had won three straight games prior to its losing streak, but sill has won only four of its last 14.

Mats Sundin had a goal and an assist against the Wild, and has five goals and eight assists in his last eight games. Sundin had two goals and two assists in his last game against the Penguins - a 5-3 win April 18 of last season - and has 10 goals and 11 assists in his last 11 games against them.

John Pohl had a goal and an assist on Tuesday, and has three goals and three assists in his last five games. The center had just two goals and one assist in his first 32 games.

"He's playing really well," coach Paul Maurice said of Pohl, who played in just eight games the last two seasons. "He's playing with a lot of confidence and he seems to be getting faster. He's fun to watch."

Andrew Raycroft has won four of his last six games after losing his six previous starts. He has won his last four starts against the Penguins, and is 5-1 with a 1.99 GAA lifetime against them.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 31 '07 PIT 4 at TOR 5 - OT T. Kaberle
Feb 10 '07 PIT 6 at TOR 5 - OT J. Staal
Jan 20 '07 TOR 2 at PIT 8 M. Recchi
Dec 29 '06 TOR 1 at PIT 4 S. Gonchar
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