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At the Rink blog

Maple Leafs say they won't take Panthers lightly

Tuesday, 03.26.2013 / 1:06 PM

By Mike Brophy - NHL.com Correspondent / 2012-2013 At the Rink blog

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2012-2013 At the Rink blog
Maple Leafs say they won't take Panthers lightly

TORONTO -- There's nothing like taking three of four points from the Boston Bruins to give an emerging team confidence. And the Toronto Maple Leafs know there's nothing like losing at home to the 30th place team in the NHL to throw that credibility out the window.

That's why the Maple Leafs insist they are not taking the Florida Panthers lightly.

"There might be the temptation to take them lightly, but we're not going to let that get into our heads," Toronto defenseman Mark Fraser said. "We got three of four points from a really good team, and now we're going to try to carry the momentum over into tonight's home game. We know we have to get the two points."

The Maple Leafs defeated the Bruins 3-2 at home Saturday night before dropping a 3-2 shootout loss in Boston on Monday and rank sixth in the Eastern Conference. The Panthers have dropped two in a row and sit 30th in the NHL at 9-18-6.

Joffrey Lupul, who notched his fourth goal of the season after serving a two-game suspension for an illegal check, said the Maple Leafs are simply not in a position to take any opponent lightly at this stage of the year.

"We need the two points," Lupul said. "Obviously [Florida] does not have the skill that Boston has or the veterans the Bruins throw at you, but the Panthers have been sitting in Toronto for a few days waiting to play us, so we expect a big effort from them."

Here's how the lineups project for Tuesday's game:

MAPLE LEAFS

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Phil Kessel

Joffrey Lupul - Nazem Kadri - Nikolai Kulemin

Clarke MacArthur - Mikhail Grabovski - Ryan Hamilton

Frazer McLaren - Jay McClement - Colton Orr

Dion Phaneuf - Carl Gunnarsson

Jake Gardiner - Michael Kostka

Cody Franson - Mark Fraser

Ben Scrivens

James Reimer

Injured: John-Michael Liles (ankle), Leo Komarov (upper body)

PANTHERS

Quinton Howden - Drew Shore - Peter Mueller

Jonathan Huberdeau - Shawn Matthias - Mike Santorelli

Scottie Upshall - Jerred Smithson - Greg Rallo

Tomas Fleischmann - Marcel Goc - Tomas Kopecky

Tyson Strachan - Brian Campbell

Dmitry Kulikov - Filip Kuba

Colby Robak - Erik Gudbranson

Jacob Markstrom

Scott Clemmensen

Injured: Jose Theodore (lower body), Stephen Weiss (wrist), Kris Versteeg (lower body), Jack Skille (upper body), George Parros (upper body), Ed Jovanovski (lower body)

Quote of the Day

You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense