The Predators look to avoid an eighth straight road loss Tuesday when they visit a Toronto club which has lost three in a row overall and seven of its last nine.
Following a 4-1 home victory Saturday over Chicago, Nashville (19-20-3) couldn't complete a home-and-home sweep the next night and fell 3-1 at the United Center.
Dan Ellis made 30 saves to keep his team in the game, but the Predators again had trouble scoring on the road, going the final 48:57 without a goal. Nashville has scored only nine times during its seven-game road losing streak.
"I though we gave up too many good chances to team we can't afford to," defenseman Shea Weber said. "We can't play a high-risk game against a team like this. (Ellis) made a couple of big saves and held us in there."
Another bright spot for Nashville was Martin Erat, who scored the Predators' lone goal to extend his point streak to three games. David Legwand assisted, giving him three goals and two assists during a three-game point streak of his own.
Nashville's offense could a boost if a pair of forwards return. Steve Sullivan played his first game since Feb. 2007, on Saturday, but was held out Sunday as a precautionary measure as he continues to recover from two back operations.
Predators leading goal scorer Jason Arnott, who suffered a lower-body injury Saturday against Chicago, could return either Tuesday or Thursday at Montreal - the finale of this three-game road trip.
Despite allowing a power-play goal Sunday, the Predators have killed off 49 of their last 51 penalties. Toronto, meanwhile, has killed off only 73.0 percent of opponents' power-play chances this season and has yielded a goal with the man advantage in seven consecutive contests.
"This team has to learn to work harder, to fight through adversity," Toronto coach Ron Wilson said. "When the first bad thing happens, you can't tuck your tail and run."
The Maple Leafs (16-20-6) have struggled to score goals lately in any situation, averaging 1.9 during their 2-7-0 stretch. For the fourth time during that span, Toronto managed only one goal - Alexei Ponikarovsky's team-leading 14th - in a 4-1 loss Saturday at Philadelphia.
"We had a lot of shots, but we just couldn't put the puck in the net," Leafs goalie Vesa Toskala said.
These infrequent opponents have met only eight times before, with Nashville holding a 5-3-0 edge with one tie. All three Predators losses, though, have come in their last four trips to the Air Canada Centre. Tuesday's game will mark the first meeting between these clubs since Dec. 4, 2007, when the Leafs won 3-1 at home behind 34 saves from Vesa Toskala.
|G. De Vries||39||1||3||4||-15||40||0||0|
|M. Van Ryn||17||3||6||9||+2||8||2||0|