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Leafs seek rare win in Calgary

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

John Kreiser - Columnist

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Leafs seek rare win in Calgary
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Calgary Flames

MAPLE LEAFS (14-18-9) at FLAMES (23-12-5)

Last 10 -- Toronto 4-4-2; Calgary 4-4-2

Season series -- The teams are meeting for the second time this season. Calgary beat the Leafs 5-2 at Toronto on Nov. 14. Calgary has won the last four games against the Leafs at the Pengrowth Saddledome, where Toronto hasn't won since Dec. 27, 2002.

Big story -- A rare Saturday night visit from the Leafs figures to energize the usual full house at the Pengrowth Saddledome, a place where the Flames have struggled for much of the season. But they're coming into this one off back-to-back home wins over Los Angeles and Edmonton while playing the kind of shutdown defense coach Brent Sutter has been preaching.

Team scope

Maple Leafs -- After a stretch of improved hockey that had Toronto fans dreaming of the playoffs, the Leafs have slipped over the last couple of weeks. They are capable of terrific performances -- they beat the defending Stanley Cup champion Penguins in Pittsburgh on Sunday -- but haven't been able to put together a string of them, as witnessed with a poor effort in Wednesday's 3-1 loss at Edmonton.

"Since my time here, we've been a really up-and-down hockey team," defenseman Ian White told the media. "Maybe the times when we are really good, we play a good couple of games in a row and we let our guard down against a team that's not as high in the standings and they seem to take it to us."

Flames -- After going without a goal in his first 36 games of the season, Calgary center Craig Conroy has rediscovered his scoring touch. Conroy got off the schneid on Wednesday with a goal against Los Angeles, then scored the game's first goal on Thursday as the Flames edged Edmonton 2-1.

"Hopefully it continues in 2010," the 38-year-old said of his mini-streak. "It definitely helps your confidence to get one. All of a sudden, you just feel like the weight of the world's off your shoulders."

Who's hot -- The Leafs continue to struggle offensively, though Jason Blake has goals in two of his last three games.

Injury report -- The Leafs might get forward Viktor Stahlberg (shoulder) back. The Flames are healthy except for defenseman Cory Sarich, who hasn't played since late November.

Stat pack -- Toronto reached the halfway mark of the season with 37 points. At that pace, the Leafs would finish with 74, their lowest total since 1997-98. … Calgary's Rene Bourque had a hat trick on Monday and has six points in his last three games. Miikka Kiprusoff has won his last two starts while stopping 57 of 59 shots.

Puck drop -- Calgary has been a tough place for the Leafs to win during the past decade. Fatigue could be one factor on the Leafs' side -- this is Calgary's fifth game in seven days, though only one was on the road (at Edmonton on Monday).

2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Jan 02 '10 TOR 1 at CGY 3 C. Glencross
Nov 14 '09 CGY 5 at TOR 2 D. Boyd
T. Kaberle4233235-71011
M. Stajan41111829-42852
A. Ponikarovsky42131427+22840
N. Hagman41161026+02141
J. Blake42101525+12222
M. Grabovski4271825-1411
P. Kessel3014822-21132
L. Stempniak42101222-31031
I. White4281321+83311
F. Beauchemin4241519-71331
N. Kulemin386612-5600
J. Finger23279-11900
J. Mitchell22279-42710
W. Primeau35235+12000
L. Schenn39145-13500
J. Mayers30134-35400
M. Komisarek34044-94000
C. Gunnarsson8044+4400
V. Stalberg12213-3400
C. Orr42123-38401
R. Wallin30033-61200
G. Exelby22033-42100
J. Rosehill6101-21600
C. Hanson6011-2400
T. Bozak1011-2000
J. Tlusty2000-2000
J. Gustavsson227-7-7545802.82.907
V. Toskala206-8-2665043.72.869
J. MacDonald61-4-0171573.20.892
J. Iginla41212041+14053
R. Bourque35142034+55131
D. Langkow41101727+41612
O. Jokinen4172027+33321
N. Dawes41101020+51032
C. Glencross3810919+104122
D. Phaneuf418917+14542
J. Bouwmeester4121517+133210
M. Giordano4141216+53420
D. Boyd405813+41302
D. Moss366612-21232
C. Conroy392911+41901
R. Regehr4001111+13600
E. Nystrom41549+33201
A. Pardy34257+42900
F. Sjostrom38156+2800
B. Prust30134+66601
B. McGrattan24123+35400
A. Johnson21123+11900
S. Kronwall11123-1201
J. Lundmark6123+0201
C. Sarich17022+41600
J. Jaffray1000-1000
M. Kiprusoff3621-10-57610562.16.928
C. McElhinney73-2-0161752.63.909