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Maple Leafs-Penguins Preview

Saturday, 01.20.2007 / 7:00 PM

Associated Press

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

Toronto's loss at Pittsburgh in late December was somewhat unexpected. So is the winning streak away from Air Canada Centre the Maple Leafs have put together since that defeat.

The Maple Leafs look to match their longest road winning streak in nearly three years when they face the Penguins Saturday.

Toronto (22-20-6) lost 4-1 at Pittsburgh (20-17-8) on Dec. 29, its first defeat in eight games at Mellon Arena since falling 3-1 on Nov. 1, 2001.

The Maple Leafs have bounced back strong, however, outscoring opponents 21-8 en route to their first four-game winning streak on the road since a five-game run from March 15-April 3, 2004.

Andrew Raycroft should get the start in goal against Pittsburgh after former Penguin Jean-Sebastien Aubin struggled in the first game between the teams this season.

Raycroft has won his last five road games, posting a 2.21 goals-against average over that span, and is 5-1-0 with a 1.99 GAA in six starts against the Penguins.

Raycroft stopped 39 shots and Boyd Devereaux, Chad Kilger and John Pohl scored in a 3-2 win at Florida on Thursday night.

"It's always nice to contribute," said Kilger, who has four goals in his last six games against Pittsburgh. "Our line has good chemistry and I'm really comfortable and playing solid."

Toronto may be without forward Darcy Tucker for an eighth straight game. Tucker, who leads the team with 19 goals, has been nursing a foot injury.

Pittsburgh lost 5-4 in a shootout to Boston on Thursday night, falling into a tie with the Bruins for 10th place in the tightly contested Eastern Conference.

Toronto is two points ahead of the Penguins and Bruins.

"Sitting here worrying about it or hanging our heads about it isn't going to do anything," Pittsburgh center Sidney Crosby said. "We have to go work harder, make sure we get points. Period. It doesn't matter who they're against."

The Penguins lost despite getting two goals from Evgeni Malkin, who leads all NHL rookies with 24 goals and 47 points. He has five goals and two assists during a five-game point streak.

Jordan Staal added a goal and an assist, and Ryan Malone also scored for Pittsburgh.

Malkin had a goal and an assist in his first game against the Maple Leafs. Staal also had a goal and Crosby added three assists in the win.

Pittsburgh is 1-5 in shootouts in 2006-07 and 2-11 going back to last season.

The Penguins, with the Mellon Arena lease expiring at the end of the season, couldn't strike a deal for a new arena during a late-night negotiating session Thursday with Gov. Ed Rendell and local leaders, but a gubernatorial aide said an agreement could be reached soon.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 31 '07PIT 4 at TOR 5 - OTT. Kaberle
Feb 10 '07PIT 6 at TOR 5 - OTJ. Staal
Jan 20 '07TOR 2 at PIT 8M. Recchi
Dec 29 '06TOR 1 at PIT 4S. Gonchar
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
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