Welcome |Account|Sign Out 
NEW! SIGN IN WITH YOUR SOCIAL PROFILE
OR
Username or EmailPassword
Toronto
Maple Leafs
Florida
Panthers

24 SOG
26 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
TOR
FLA
game preview

Desperate Leafs visit struggling Panthers

Thursday, 03.17.2011 / 7:30 PM

John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

MAPLE LEAFS (31-30-10) at PANTHERS (28-33-9)

TV -- SNET-Ontario (HD); FS-Florida (HD

Last 10 -- Toronto 4-3-3; Florida 3-5-2

Season series -- It's the fourth and final meeting this season, with the home team winning each of the first three. The Leafs haven't been to South Florida since losing 4-1 on Nov. 10.

Big story -- The Leafs keep nudging a little closer toward the top eight in the Eastern Conference playoff race. They were outshot 37-19 on Wednesday at Carolina, but got big nights from captain Dion Phaneuf and rookie goaltender James Reimer to beat the Hurricanes 3-1 and move within four points of eighth-place Buffalo. They visit a Florida team that's all but out of the race after a 3-2 home loss to Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Team Scope:

Maple Leafs -- Before Wednesday's game, there was conjecture that coach Ron Wilson might sit Reimer and start veteran Jean-Sebastien Giguere against the Hurricanes. Wilson lifted Reimer in Monday night's 6-2 loss to Tampa Bay, but said he had no intention of sitting a supposedly tired Reimer against the 'Canes -- and was rewarded with a 36-save performance and a much-needed two points.

"If I don't play Reimer, I'm an idiot, so let's leave that rest," Wilson said. "Reims isn't tired -- he's going to have some nights where he's not as good as he is on other nights. That's like everyone in this League."

Panthers -- Florida is all but assured of an NHL-record 10th consecutive season without a trip to the playoffs. The squad that lost to the Flyers includes 10 players who've been called up from the AHL this season. Florida led 2-1 after one period, but allowed two second-period goals and couldn't recover.

"You're not going to play mistake-free," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "No one likes that we're not winning but you can't deny they're giving an effort out there. That's all a coach can ask."

Who's hot -- Phaneuf had 2 goals and an assist in the win at Carolina and has 3 goals and 5 points in a four-game scoring streak. … Florida's Stephen Weiss scored Tuesday and has 3 goals and 6 points in eight games this month. Tomas Vokoun has allowed just one goal on 72 shots in winning his last two games against Toronto.

Injury report -- The Maple Leafs played without Colby Armstrong after he broke a foot blocking a shot Monday. Defenseman Mike Komisarek left Wednesday's game with a lower-body injury and didn't return. Forward Colton Orr (head) is still out and may not be back before the end of the season. … Florida's injury list includes Scott Timmins (concussion), Alexander Sulzer (upper body), Rostislav Klesla (leg) and Jack Skille and Shawn Mattias (ankle). Former first-rounder Jacob Markstrom had successful knee surgery on Wednesday and is expected back for training camp.

Stat pack -- The Leafs are 5-0-2 in their last seven on the road -- and play seven of their last 11 away from Air Canada Centre. … Florida has outscored Toronto 6-1 in winning the last two meetings at the BankAtlantic Center.

Puck drop -- Reimer said the benching in the loss to Tampa Bay served as inspiration for his performance at Carolina.

"To be honest, I had a little bit of extra motivation today because I had heard through the grapevine that Tampa Bay had said that something to the effect that I was just a typical Francois Allaire goalie and they knew how to beat me," Reimer said. ``I'm not going to lie -- that kind of rubbed me the wrong way and ticked me off.

2010-2011 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 17 '11TOR 0 at FLA 4S. Samsonov
Feb 01 '11FLA 3 at TOR 4 - SOC. Armstrong
Nov 10 '10TOR 1 at FLA 4S. Reinprecht
Oct 26 '10FLA 1 at TOR 3C. Orr
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
P. Kessel72282553-2120105
M. Grabovski71272653+1254103
C. MacArthur72203353-53763
N. Kulemin72262450+72245
T. Kaberle5833538-21601
K. Versteeg53142135-132950
T. Bozak72121426-281253
D. Phaneuf5671926-37731
C. Armstrong5081523-13800
J. Lupul4491322-132931
T. Brent7181119-32501
L. Schenn7231417-73200
C. Gunnarsson5831013-41201
F. Beauchemin5421012-41600
D. Boyce374711+62401
J. Crabb382810-31801
M. Komisarek671910-97400
M. Brown40257+26010
N. Kadri19066-4600
F. Sjostrom61235-71200
J. Mitchell23213-71211
B. Lebda38123-171400
J. Rosehill20123-46200
C. Orr46202-112801
K. Aulie30101-42600
M. Zigomanis8011+0400
L. Caputi7000-2400
C. Hanson6000+0400
M. Mueller3000+0200
M. Lashoff2000-1000
K. Holzer2000-1200
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Reimer2714-7-4658222.61.921
J. Giguere3211-11-4787662.90.898
J. Gustavsson236-13-2686203.29.890
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
S. Weiss70202848-64531
D. Booth71211637-202063
M. Santorelli71181937-111851
N. Bergfors61122234-6831
S. Samsonov67122133+11241
D. Wideman6192433-263381
M. Reasoner71141529+82204
M. Frolik5282129+21611
D. Kulikov6161824+53611
C. Higgins48111223+51000
C. Stillman4471623+32011
B. McCabe4851722+32820
R. Dvorak5371421+22003
J. Skille5671118-52711
R. Olesz4461117-1811
S. Matthias4761016+11600
J. Garrison6241216+02603
S. Bernier595914-152130
B. Allen534812-56301
M. Weaver7121012+32801
K. Ellerby4321012-61800
E. Dadonov254711+21410
S. Reinprecht294610-2611
R. Carter53268-35100
M. Repik20167-41400
B. Thomas22336+0401
D. Hordichuk56134-27100
A. Sulzer36134-81400
C. Wilson8202+3200
S. Timmins19101-8800
J. Callahan16000-2800
K. McArdle11000-31600
P. Rissmiller3000-1000
T. Kennedy3000-1000
H. Jessiman2000-1500
M. Duco2000-11000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
T. Vokoun5221-25-512716052.60.921
S. Clemmensen248-7-4546632.45.919
J. Markstrom10-1-02143.00.857